The alliance's announcement has drawn an angry response from Russia, which says it will retaliate if the move goes ahead. After Albania and Croatia, Montenegro would be the third nation from the western Balkans to join the transatlantic bloc.
NATO foreign ministers have promised to review the progress of would-be members ahead of next year's summit. Macedonia is keen to join some of its western Balkan neighbors in the military alliance, but challenges remain.
A landmark Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty between the United States and Russia is at risk of collapsing. A tit-for-tat escalation could endanger security, divide NATO and undermine arms control agreements.
EU leaders agreed to continue economic sanctions against Russia for another six months. Meeting at a summit in Brussels, the bloc's top politicians also discussed migration and security, revealing national differences.
Finland became an independent nation exactly a century ago, facilitated by revolution in Russia. Now in the EU and the eurozone, but not in NATO, it's also a top performer in education, coffee consumption and motorsport.
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