BELGRADE, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Montenegrin lawmakers on Friday voted for the country's accession to NATO at a session in the city of Cetinje.
The proposal was adopted by 46 out of 81 Montenegrin members of parliament (MPs), while the remaining 35 MPs were absent due to a boycott.
Prior to the voting, Prime Minister Dusko Markovic presented the benefits of joining NATO to lawmakers.
In a speech broadcast live on the Radio Television of Montenegro, Markovic told MPs that Montenegro is in front of a historic decision "that will be remembered as long as there is Montenegro and Montenegrins," and estimated that NATO membership will improve security and quality of life for all citizens.
"Montenegro's accession to NATO is the springboard for the county's accession to the European Union," he added, noting that the country needs to deposit its instrument of accession with the government of the United States before it becomes a full member.
The accession agreement was ratified by most of NATO's 28 members, making the ratification by Montenegro one of the final steps for the Balkan country to become the 29th member of the alliance.