Podgorica, Dec. 2, 2015: Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic says receiving a Nato membership invitation was a historic event for the Adriatic state (source: dpa)

Tiny Montenegro may tip strategic balance in the Balkans

Montenegro is a small country with a big geopolitical impact. It was once in a union with Serbia and was pro-Russian in its foreign policy, but in 2006, after a stormy referendum, it divorced the Serbian ally. Its economic ties with Russia deteriorated after Podgorica began accession negotiations with the European Union in 2012. Two years later, Montenegro made another big step towards changing its alignment when it announced a bid to join Nato. Since December 2, 2015, the day when the formal invitation from the North Atlantic alliance was made, the country finds itself tantalisingly close to realising that goal. Both its success or, less likely, its failure, will have far-reaching strategic consequences for global powers.

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Professor Dr. Blerim Reka
Russia’s foreign ministry called the planned extension an ‘openly confrontational step’ and President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov grimly warned the Montenegrins of unspecified Russian reaction
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