Montenegro's new president has promised to boost democratic freedoms and to fight corruption in the small Balkan nation seeking European Union membership.

Milo Djukanovic said in his inaugural speech on Sunday that Montenegro is a front-runner for EU integration, but more must be done to achieve European standards for the country's citizens.

During his inauguration in the historic capital of Cetinje, Djukanovic also warned that the future of Balkan countries in the EU is "blurred" by the bloc's internal and global problems.

Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists have ruled Montenegro since the early 1990s, taking the country to independence from the much larger Serbia in 2006. Last year, Montenegro defied traditional ally Russia by joining NATO.

Critics have accused Djukanovic of a poor democratic record and rampant corruption.