(dpa) - The European Union congratulated Montenegro President Filip Vujanovic on Tuesday for winning a second term in what it described as "free and fair" elections.
In a statement issued on behalf of all of the EU's 27 member states, the bloc's presidency also welcomed the fact that Montenegro's EU membership aspirations had played a key role in the election campaign.
"In that context, the presidency reiterates its commitment to the European perspective of Montenegro," the statement said.
The EU also invited all Montenegrin political forces to approve reforms needed to bring their country closer to the EU.
"We will work together for our European future," Vujanovic had said in a victory speech Sunday. "Montenegro belongs to the European Union, and we'll join it," he added.
Montenegro separated from Serbia two years ago and signed a a pre- candidacy Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU in 2007.
Abundant corruption and lack of economic reforms are cited as two of the country's main obstacles to EU membership.
The current six-month rotating presidency of the EU is held by Slovenia, which in 2004 became the first state of the former Yugoslavia to enter the bloc.