Russia threatens as Montenegro joins NATO

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 11.6.2017 14:16

Montenegro became NATO’s 29th member on 5 June, an event that bore mixed reactions. As NATO members welcome Montenegro, Russia warns of reprisals in response to Montenegro’s course. Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic announced that Montenegro aims to meet NATO’s 2% GDP spending target by 2024.

Montenegro, like Serbia, has enjoyed good ties with key Orthodox and Slavic ally Russia, which doubles as their top foreign investor. Though observers note that tensions arose with Montenegrin NATO aspirations, frictions emerged in 2014 when EU hopeful Montenegro backed the EU’s Russia sanctions. Last October, Podgorica said that Russian spy agencies and local pro-Russian groups conspired to halt the NATO bid and lead a coup d’état – a claim Moscow dismisses. The EU intends to deepen ties with the West Balkans ahead of potential membership, encouraging authorities to promote amicable relations for regional stability. An arms race between Russia and the West while wedging the Balkans, seems more plausible than cooperation.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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