Sixteen years ago NATO bombed Montenegro and Serbia during the Kosovo war. The bombing was meant to stop the Serbs from continuing violence against Kosovars in Serbia’s then southern province of Kosovo. Now NATO is inviting Montenegro — no longer, of course, part of Yugoslavia — to join to join the alliance. Not all Montenegrins are pleased with the invitation. Many are still angry about the 1999 bombing.
Montenegro has about 650,000 residents. The country’s armed forces consist of 2,000 active members. The Montenegrin Navy, which was formed in 2006 after its split from Serbia, has just two ex-Yugoslav frigates (warships). The country borders the Adriatic Sea. According to BBC, “NATO diplomats say it [the invitiation] sends a message to Russia that it cannot veto the alliance’s expansion – but Russia has said it will retaliate.” The last eastern European nations to join NATO were Albania and Croatia in 2009.