June 13, 2006

US recognizes Montenegro’s independence after vote

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States recognized on
Tuesday the independence of Montenegro, helping cement the
international community's acceptance of a referendum last month
in favor of its breakaway from a union with Serbia.

The endorsement follows the European Union and Russia also
recognizing the tiny Balkan republic's independence.

The move is largely a formality after Montenegro voted in a
referendum on May 21 by more than the required 55 percent for
independence, completing the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

"The honor of being counted among the free and independent
states of the world brings with it the challenge of protecting
and advancing freedom, rights and prosperity of all the people
of Montenegro," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told
reporters on announcing the U.S. decision.