US Senate advances approval of Montenegro into NATO: The US Senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to advance the approval of Montenegro as the newest member of NATO, in what supporters of the alliance's expansion argue would send a stern message to Russia.
The procedural step, which advanced on a 97-2 vote, sets up a final approval in the chamber in the coming days.
President Donald Trump's administration has encouraged lawmakers to back the small Balkan nation's bid.
"It is strongly in the interests of the United States that Montenegro's membership in NATO be ratified," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Senate leaders in a March 7 letter.
To date, 25 of NATO's 28 members have ratified Montenegro's accession, a country of 620,000 people seen as a geostrategic ally.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization holds its summit on May 25 in Brussels, where Trump will use the opportunity to reaffirm Washington's strong commitment to the alliance, according to the White House.
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