Accessibility links

Breaking News

The Daily Vertical: Who's Afraid Of Montenegro? (Transcript)

One has to wonder why the Kremlin is getting so hysterical about Montenegro joining NATO.

I mean, let's have a little reality check here. Montenegro is a tiny country located thousands of kilometers from Russia's border.

Just look at a map. Between Montenegro and Russia are all of Serbia, all of Romania, all of Moldova, and all of Ukraine.

And yet the Kremlin is hysterical.

Sergei Lavrov this week accused Montenegro of being motivated by Russophobia and said NATO membership was imposed on Podgorica by the West.

And the Russian Foreign Ministry he heads has threatened retaliatory measures.

But as his country formally joined NATO, Montenegrin Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic had a little message for the Kremlin: This ain't about you.

WATCH Today's Daily Vertical

Montenegro joined NATO, Boskovic said, because Podgorica sees the alliance as the best guarantor of peace and stability in the Balkans.

Which makes sense. Countries in the region that have joined NATO -- like Slovenia and Croatia -- are stable. Countries that haven't, not so much.

But here's the thing. Judging from its behavior, peace and stability in the Balkans are the very last things Moscow appears to be interested in.

Russia's has been accused of attempting to instigate a coup in Montenegro last year.

According to a report this week by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, Moscow has been actively trying to destabilize Macedonia.

And Russia is widely suspected of instigating mischief in Bosnia-Herzegovina through proxies in Republika Srpska.

So maybe it's not such a mystery after all why Moscow is so hysterical about Montenegro joining NATO after all.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.