▲ Up
 
04:10 23-11-2017
АКИpress CA-News Tazabek Turmush
ADVERTISE WITH US SUBSCRIBE
KazakhstanKyrgyzstanMongoliaTajikistanTurkmenistanUzbekistanWorld
POLITICSBUSINESSINCIDENTSSOCIETYCULTURESPORTANALYSISSCIENCE
Tillerson urges Senate ratification of Montenegro's NATO membership
World | politics | 13:25, 22 March 2017 | 904

AKIPRESS.COM - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has written to the leaders of the U.S. Senate urging the ratification of Montenegro as the newest member of the NATO alliance, saying it is "strongly in the interests of the United States," reports Reuters.

In a letter dated March 7 and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, Tillerson argued that Montenegro's membership in the alliance would support greater integration, democratic reform, trade, security and stability among its neighbors.

Moscow opposes any further expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the delay in U.S. approval of Montenegro's accession has fueled questions about whether President Donald Trump's administration and his Republican Party will stand up to Russia despite Trump's desire for better relations.

The letter emerged amid a flap over the new secretary of state's relationship with the alliance.

Reuters reported on Monday that Tillerson planned to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China's president, while planning a visit to Russia later in April.

On Tuesday, the administration reversed course and proposed new dates for the meeting, which had been set for April 5 and 6 in Brussels.

Montenegro, a former Yugoslav republic with a population of 650,000, hopes to win the required approval of all 28 NATO allies in time to become a full member at a summit in May. By early this month, it had been approved by 24. NATO members see Montenegro's accession as a way to counter Russia's efforts to expand its influence in the Balkans.

Objections from at least two Republican senators, Rand Paul and Mike Lee, have blocked a quick vote in the full U.S. Senate for months and Senate leaders have not scheduled a more time-consuming roll-call vote.

Paul has questioned the wisdom of angering Russia and taking on the potential expense of approving NATO membership for a tiny country that could not play a significant role in defending the United States.

In his letter to the Senate's Republican majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and copied to Chuck Schumer, the chamber's top Democrat, Tillerson said it would be "immeasurably helpful" if the Senate scheduled a floor vote to complete ratification procedures in time for Trump's participation in the May NATO summit.

Montenegro's NATO membership has already been approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Paul and Senator John McCain, one of the leading Russia hawks in the U.S. Congress, had a heated exchange about the issue in the Senate last week.

McCain said Paul was working for Russian President Vladimir Putin by blocking a quick vote on Montenegro. Paul called McCain "unhinged" and "past his prime."

LATEST NEWS
18:02 'How can I not award my viziers' — Atambayev about Farid Niyazov and Ikram Ilmiyanov17:54 Atambayev: "I expelled US military base because we offended Russia and China"17:39 Normalization of Tajik-Uzbek relations might help finish construction of Rogun HPP — EDB17:35 Atambayev said his dream to hold fair presidential election came true17:15 Poverty is also a psychosocial problem17:13 House for culture workers to be build for $6.7 million – Atambayev17:12 Atambayev says he wanted to award his wife order of courage: "She could stand me 30 years"16:33 South Korean clinic might appear in Uzbekistan16:16 US Navy aircraft carrying 11 crashes into the Pacific Ocean; 8 have been found16:12 Atambayev congratulates employees of prosecutor's office on professional holiday16:06 PM gives 0.5-year deadline for Transport Minister to pull Kyrgyzstan out of list of air carriers banned in the EU15:54 Kyrgyzstan, Russia working on supplying fuel residues to Kyrgyzstan15:51 Kyrgyzstanis with biometric passports to be able to pass checks at airports without border guards15:33 PM Isakov: "Situation with Kazakhstan serves as a lesson for us. We must work on achieving fifth freedom of the air"15:28 New Deputy Foreign Ministry named in Tajikistan15:10 Uzbek newspaper journalist fined for illegal work activity in Russia14:59 15yo girl urges Kyrgyz Parliament to ratify UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities14:50 Hungarian businessmen plan to invest 34 million euros in Kyrgyzstan14:34 Salyanova says she does not want murder of her brother to be politically motivated more than anyone else14:18 Atambayev allocates addictional 1 million som for meals of truck drivers standing in queue on Kyrgyz-Kazakh border
© AKIpress News Agency - 2001-2017. All rights reserved
Republication of any material is prohibited without a written agreement with AKIpress News Agency. Any citation must be accompanied by a hyperlink to akipress.com.
Our address:
Moskovskaya str. 189, Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic
e-mail: english@akipress.org, akipressenglish@gmail.com;
Tel/Fax: +996(312)65-03-06