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Crowds celebrating in Podgorica. Photo: New York Times

On 21 May 2006, 86 percent of Montenegrin voters cast their ballot in a referendum on national independence. 55.5 percent voted in favour. This was above the 55 percent threshold, which all sides had accepted following mediation by EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak. The Montenegrin parliament declared independence on 3 June 2006.

Despite some tensions, the whole process had remained peaceful. The new state was first recognised by Iceland on 8 June, followed by Switzerland, Estonia and Russia. The EU and the USA extended recognition on 12 June and Serbia on 15 June.

Montenegro joined the OSCE and the UN in June 2006, NATO's Partnership for Peace in December 2006, and the IMF, the World Bank and the Council of Europe in the first half of 2007. Today Montenegro has 10 embassies, a mission to the EU, and 2 missions to international organisations (the OSCE in Vienna and the UN in New York).

April 2008

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