Published On: Thu, Apr 13th, 2017

John McCain visits Montenegro: ‘I am proud that Montenegro will soon join in the defense of the free world’

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on his visit to Montenegro yesterday:

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“I am honored to return to Montenegro as it prepares to become the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I welcome President Trump’s signature of the United States instrument of ratification of the Protocol for Montenegro’s accession to NATO, which followed the Senate’s overwhelming 97-2 vote last month. This was another important demonstration of the United States’ unwavering commitment to the NATO alliance and to the defense of a Europe whole, free, and at peace.

“Despite violent pressure from Vladimir Putin’s Russia, President Vujanovic, Prime Minister Markovic, and other members of the government were clear in meetings with me that Montenegro will persist in its pursuit of Euro-Atlantic integration. Montenegro is sending a powerful message that Vladimir Putin will not have veto power over the democratic aspirations of free peoples in Southeastern Europe or anywhere else in the world.

“During my visit, I received an update on the investigation into the Russian-backed coup attempt last year. There is no doubt in my mind that this was another attempt by the Russian government to attack democracy and smash a small, brave country that had the nerve to defy its will. I commended Justice Minister Pazin, Supreme Special Prosecutor Stankovic, and Special Prosecutor Katnic for their dedication and professionalism, but most of all for their courage in pursuing this case and following the facts wherever they lead.

“I am proud that Montenegro will soon join in the defense of the free world. I hope that Spain and the Netherlands will complete the process of ratifying Montenegro’s accession to NATO as soon as possible so that we can embrace Montenegro as a full member of the NATO alliance.”

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