NATO has formally invited the nation of Montenegro to join the military alliance, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday.
The move is likely to displease Russia, which views NATO expansion as a threat to its security.
Montenegro started on a path to join the alliance in 2009. The formal invitation marks the beginning of accession talks, NATO said.
Montenegro already supports NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan and has actively cooperated with the alliance in other ways.
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NATO CONSIDERS ‘RAPID-RESPONSE’ FORCES “The new force of some 4,000 troops, capable of moving on 48 hours’ notice, will be supported with logistics and equipment pre-positioned in Eastern European countries closer to Russia, with an upgraded schedule of military exercises and deployments that are intended to make NATO’s commitment of collective defense more credible and enhance its deterrence. The agreement is planned as the substantive centerpiece of the NATO meeting, which will take place Thursday and Friday and will be attended by President Obama, who will also stop in Estonia before the summit meeting.” In response, Russia says it plans to “revise its military doctrine.” Russia’s ruble has hit the “lowest level ever” in anticipation of further sanctions. [NYT]