The US Senate on 28 March 2017 voted to approve Montenegro as the 29th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
The accession treaty for the small Balkan nation to join the transatlantic alliance was passed through a 97-2 vote. Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against the measure.
The move to add Montenegro as the 29th member was backed by President Donald Trump.
As of now, 25 other NATO members have ratified Montenegro's accession. The Netherlands and Spain have yet to do so.
However, Russia opposes Montenegro's accession, calling it a "provocation" that would reinforce the pro-Western military alliance's presence in the Balkans.
About North Atlantic Treaty Organization
• NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance.
• It is based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed on 4 April 1949.
• The organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party.
• Three NATO members (the United States, France and the United Kingdom) are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto.
• The organization’s headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium.
• Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe.
• It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south-east.
• The country’s capital is Podgorica.
• The World Bank classifies it as an upper middle-income country.
• It is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Council of Europe and others.
• On 2 December 2015, the country received an official invitation to join NATO.
Who: US Senate
When: 28 March 2017