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Montenegro, NATO Begin Formal Membership Talks

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic

Officials with NATO have begun talks with the Balkans nation of Montenegro about its application to become the 29th member of the transatlantic alliance.

NATO officials said on February 15 that the two days of talks will cover a range of "political, military, and legal questions" about Montenegro's application and will "provide an opportunity for both sides to clarify outstanding issues."

NATO formally invited Montenegro to join the alliance in December, and Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic is strongly committed to NATO membership.

Russia has said it sees NATO expansion as a threat, and the pro-Russia opposition in Montenegro has called for Djukanovic to step down.

Based on reporting by AFP