NATO invites Montenegro to join alliance, defying Russia

NATO member states have formally invited the tiny Adriatic nation of Montenegro to join the alliance in the face of Russian opposition.

Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced the invitation on Wednesday, the second day of a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

The announcement sets in motion an accession process that will continue over months before Montenegro formally becomes the 29th member of the alliance -- its first expansion since fellow Balkan countries Albania and Croatia were admitted in 2009.

Russia has repeated its opposition to the accession of Montenegro, a favored getaway spot and investment site for some Russians.

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