Europe

Montenegro to vote on membership in NATO

  • Anti-NATO demonstrators hold a banner during a protest outside the hall before the parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017.  Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership of NATO and make a historic turn toward the West amid protests by the pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)

    Anti-NATO demonstrators hold a banner during a protest outside the hall before the parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership of NATO and make a historic turn toward the West amid protests by the pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Montenegro's Prime Minister Dusko Markovic speaks during a parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership of NATO and make an historic turn toward the West amid protests from the pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)

    Montenegro's Prime Minister Dusko Markovic speaks during a parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership of NATO and make an historic turn toward the West amid protests from the pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Anti-NATO demonstrators burn a NATO flag in front of a a banner that reads: "No to NATO, your hands are bloody - Death to fascism, freedom to the people", during a protest outside the hall before the parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership in NATO and make a historic turn toward the West amid protests by Russia and pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)

    Anti-NATO demonstrators burn a NATO flag in front of a a banner that reads: "No to NATO, your hands are bloody - Death to fascism, freedom to the people", during a protest outside the hall before the parliament session in Cetinje, Montenegro, Friday, April 28, 2017. Montenegrin lawmakers convened Friday to ratify the Balkan country's membership in NATO and make a historic turn toward the West amid protests by Russia and pro-Russia opposition. (AP Photo/Risto Bozovic)  (The Associated Press)

Montenegrin lawmakers are set to ratify the Balkan country's membership in NATO and make a historic turn toward the West despite protests from traditional ally Russia and pro-Russian opposition.

The Montenegrin parliament will convene later on Friday to ratify the accession treaty with the Western military alliance. Opposition parties say they will boycott the session and hold a demonstration instead.

Montenegro's pro-NATO government has urged lawmakers to approve the entry protocol. Officials have said that joining NATO will bring stability and economic benefits after centuries of turmoil.

The government says: "In the current geo-political environment, Montenegro must rationally look at all options and make a decision that will best protect its national, security and economic interests."

Russia has been angered by NATO expansion in Montenegro, Moscow's traditional zone of interest.