The European Union’s foreign policy chief has congratulated Montenegro on holding a successful referendum.
Javier Solana pledged that the European Union would fully respect the outcome of the vote.
Officially the EU is neutral on the question of independence and wanted a negotiated settlement between Podgorica and Belgrade, whatever the outcome.
Privately EU officials were reportedly saying that independence is inevitable and best accomplished quickly.
The EU opened preliminary talks with Serbia and Montenegro last year on EU membership but suspended them because Serb authorities failed to deliver Ratko Mladic to a UN war crimes tribunal.