Former US presidential candidate John McCain accused fellow Republican senator Rand Paul of working for Russian President Vladimir Putin after Paul blocked a new attempt to discuss the protocol on Montenegro’s accession to Nato on March 15.
Montenegro’s Nato accession is becoming a test case for the new geopolitics following the election of US President Donald Trump. US Democrats have previously claimed that some Republican senators are trying to prevent Montenegro being let into the military alliance, amid suspicions of Russian influence over US policymaking. Moscow is staunchly against the accession of Montenegro, a former Balkan ally, becoming a Nato member.
Although Montenegro was invited to join Nato in December 2015, the country’s full accession has been delayed by the US Senate, which still has to vote on a resolution on Montenegro’s Nato accession.
John McCain reportedly asked the Senate to finally schedule a debate on the protocol, but was blocked by his colleague. It is not clear when the Senate will put this issue in its agenda. “The senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin,” McCain accused in strongly worded statement to the Senate.
“Halting Montenegro’s membership would be a significant turn in American foreign policy and would show a conciliation with the rising influence of Russia on the Balkans, which would affect negatively our common safety interests in the region.”
Saturday, 18 March 2017
Intellinews: McCain accuses fellow US senator of working for Putin after Montenegro vote blocked