NATO Montenegro invite: NATO Invites Montenegro

Published: December 2, 2015

NATO Montenegro invite: NATO Invites Montenegro, NATO has formally invited Montenegro to join the alliance, a move that’s spurred threats from Russian officials at loggerheads with NATO over everything from Ukraine to Syria to Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane.

The official invitation, announced Wednesday by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, triggers the start of accession talks, according to the alliance.

While it comes at a time of heightened tensions between NATO and Russia, it didn’t happen out of the blue; it’s the result of a process that began nine years ago.

“Today, we proudly receive a #NATO membership invitation,” said Montenegro’s President Milo Djukanovic, according to his government’s Twitter feed. “This is a historic day for #Montenegro. The most important (since) the 2006 (independence) referendum.”

#Montenegro thanks @NATO allies for the invitation to join the Alliance.

— Govt. of Montenegro (@MeGovernment) December 2, 2015
As expected, this celebratory sentiment wasn’t echoed in Russia.

“Moscow has always noted at various levels that the continuing expansion of NATO and NATO’s military infrastructure to the East, of course, cannot but lead to response actions from the East, namely, the Russian side in ensuring security interests and supporting the parity of interests,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the state-run Tass news agency.

Peskov declined to say what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do about the Montenegro invitation, saying, “Now, there are other priorities.”

But Viktor Ozerov, the chair of the Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security, told another state news agency that Russia will end military and technical cooperation with Montenegro if its membership becomes official.

“Montenegro should recognize that a lot of programs that have been previously realized by it with Russia … will be impossible in the context of its NATO accession,” Ozerov told RIA Novosti.


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