Serbia says it supports the bid of its former Balkan partner Montenegro to join NATO, but that Belgrade will stay out of the alliance that bombed it over Kosovo in 1999. President Boris Tadic says Serbia "fully and honestly supports Montenegro's intention to become a member of NATO." He added during a visit to Montenegro that "Serbia will remain neutral."
Serbia and Montenegro were in a common state until Montenegro split in 2006. Montenegro has since made joining NATO a priority. President Filip Vujanovic says Montenegro expects Serbia's 'understanding' over NATO membership.
NATO bombed Serbia-Montenegro for 78 days in 1999 to stop Serbia's crackdown on Kosovo separatists. Kosovo's independence was declared in 2008.