Greek Parliament approves the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO

The Greek Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs approved with the majority of votes the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO, parliamentary documents showed.

The protocol was approved on Wednesday by both the ruling coalition and largest opposition parties, while only two parties — the far-right Golden Dawn party and the Communist Party — voted against.

The protocol is to be ratified by the parliament.

Montenegro was invited to NATO in December 2015. In May 2016, NATO member states signed a protocol on Montenegro’s accession to the Alliance, which gives it the status of an observer at the meetings. To become a full-fledged bloc’s partner, all 28 NATO countries must ratify the accession protocol to include the new member.

Earlier in January, the Italian and Norwegian parliaments ratified the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to NATO.

Russia has condemned NATO’s expansion efforts since the end of the Cold War, noting the Alliance’s growing presence at the borders of Russia poses a threat. Russian officials have, however, noted that Montenegro’s membership will not significantly enhance NATO’s political or military strength.