On Wednesday, 2 December, the NATO Foreign Ministers decided to invite Montenegro to begin accession talks to become the 29th member of the Alliance. Secretary General hailed the decision as "historic." He said; "this is a good day for Montenegro, a good day for the Western Balkans and a good day for the Alliance."
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The Agency's past cooperation with Montenegro
During the 2015 October Comprehensive Regional Ministerial, held in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the Director of Demand Management, Dr Velizar Shalamanov, and the Principal Account Manager for Nations and NATO Force Structure, Mr Xavier Desfougeres, briefed the conference on the Balkan Regional Approach to Air Defence (BRAAD). BRAAD is a NATO Smart Defence project with Croatia as the Lead Nation.
While at the Ministerial, Dr Shalamanov held several bilateral meetings including with Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Montenegro. These nations confirmed their strong interest in BRAAD, and are committed to a successful regional cooperation in air surveillance. Discussions took place around partnership development with the NCI Agency to increase bilateral and multinational cooperation with nations in Southeast Europe and to increase interoperability and develop modern capabilities using the NATO First Solution (N1S) approach.