RUSSIA and Nato are set on a collision course after the tiny former Yugoslav state of Montenegro was invited to join the military alliance.
The 28-nation US-led group agreed to start the entry process at a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels this morning, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
The move will be seen as a warning to the Kremlin that its influence in the region is waning, despite a show of strength during last year’s annexation of Crimea and the subsequernt bombing campaign in Syria.
In retaliation, Russia has warned that Montenegro will be punished for the action.
Full membership for the tiny nation, which endured decades of Soviet domination during the Cold War and until recently remained a key ally of the Moscow, could be completed within a year.
Mr Stoltenberg described the move as a “historic decision” that confirmed NATO’s “open-door policy”.
He said: “Montenegro has come a long way on its path to join the Euro-Atlantic family.
“Extending an invitation to Montenegro to start accession talks would be a historic decision.
“It would signal our continued commitment to the western Balkans.”
Full article: Russia fuming as Nato expands military alliance with invitation to ex-Soviet ally (Express)