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.
US Vice President Mike Pence advised the Western Balkans to look westward for peace and stability, during a regional summit in Montenegro on Wednesday.
Russia and Belarus are set to stage the Zapad 2017 war games, and the operation's size is causing concern among Western observers. Moscow's heavy troop presence has some worrying whether Minsk's sovereignty is at risk.
People in a number of US-allied nations trust Vladimir Putin more than Donald Trump when it comes to handling foreign affairs, according to a new survey. The results show a significant lack of confidence in both leaders.
Despite the comfortable margin of victory for the government there is strong opposition to the move by a vocal minority. Montenegro aims to join NATO during a summit meeting in Belgium in May.
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