NATO is celebrating Montenegro’s accession for the third time in two weeks – a flag raising ceremony has been held today in Brussels.

“Montenegro officially became the 29th member of our Alliance. Montenegro joins NATO as an equal, with a seat at our table, and an equal voice in shaping the future of the Alliance. Montenegro’s accession sends a message to other states that seek membership: that if a country travels the path of reform, embraces democracy, and the rule of law, and proves itself willing to and able to contribute to our collective defence, sharing the responsibilities as well as the rewards, then it too can join the Alliance,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a joint press conference with Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.

On May 25, NATO Secretary General congratulated Dusko Markovic at the NATO summit on Montenegro’s accession to the Alliance. However, the dignity of the occasion was rather spoilt by US President Donald Trump who shoved Dusko Markovic aside during the inauguration ceremony at NATO Headquarters, whereas the latter broadly smiled in response. A 20-second YouTube video of the US “greeting” of Montenegro got over 1 million views on the day it was uploaded.

Markovic was congratulated the second time in Washington, June 6, during a ceremony in which Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic presented the accession document to United States Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Shannon.

The ratified document of Montenegro’s accession to NATO was handed over to the US, as it is the depositary of the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on April 4, 1949.