MOSCOW – Serbia does not plan to join NATO as the North Atlantic military alliance gives no guarantees of stability, ambassador to Russia Slavenko Terzic said on Tuesday.

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“I don’t see any stability guarantees in NATO’s expansion in the Balkans and in the central region of Europe,” he said. “Europe must be free of military alliances, live in peace and accord,” the ambassador said.

“Serbia will insist on its political neutrality. We are not getting ready to join NATO,” the envoy added.

Focusing on events in Montenegro, he said “all protests inside the country are caused only by internal differences”. “I don’t see any foreign interference in the affairs of Montenegro,” he said, pointing to protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.

“These are internal protests, social and political discontent of the Montenegrin population with the existing situation. Besides, most citizens are against NATO membership,” the ambassador said.

Last month, the United States announced that it was prepared to extend an invitation to Montenegro to join NATO in December. The announcement triggered a wave of protests in the country.

Ukraine dropped its non-aligned status last year, opening the way for NATO membership and drawing criticism from Russia and many other states. In September, President Petro Poroshenko signed a new military doctrine in which one of the main objectives for the development of the country’s armed forces is to bring them in line with NATO standards.

The alliance has also been boosting its presence in Eastern Europe, implementing a plan that includes setting up six new command and control units in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic states.