13:54 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Montenegro Likely to Exacerbate NATO Security Burden, Heighten Risk of War

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    The minuscule Balkan state of Montenegro’s accession to NATO would increase the alliance’s expanding security burdens along with the probability of provoking serious conflicts all in an effort to send a message to Russia, US analysts told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the US Senate approved the expansion of NATO to include Montenegro in as its 29th member state.  The Senate approved accepting Montenegro into the US-led NATO alliance by a vote of 97 to two on Tuesday.

    “[One of] the European Union's central problems [is] excessive expansion into countries that can't pull their weight,” Independent Institute Center for Peace and Freedom Ivan Eland said on Wednesday. “The United States, leader of NATO, has made the same mistake by admitting Montenegro.”

    The move increased the dangers of war in southeastern Europe, Eland warned.

    “Montenegro and other poorer countries in the eastern part of Europe already admitted into the alliance could drag the United States and Western European countries into wars they don't want to fight,” he cautioned.

    Montenegro would probably receive immediate benefits from NATO support, but every other member of the alliance would pay a significant price as a result, Eland predicted.

    “The expansion is great for Montenegro and a greater burden for all other NATO countries, especially the United States, which are pledged to defend it,” Eland said.

    Although Montenegro was so small, the move confirmed NATO’s determination to continue relentlessly expanding eastward across Eurasia and therefore was bound to increase tensions between the alliance and Russia, Eland foresaw.

    “Continued NATO expansion, a principal cause of the deterioration of US-Russia relations in this millennium, will only make those relations worse. Since both [the United States and Russia] have many nuclear weapons, this level of general tensions is bad news for everyone,” Eland stated.

    Ohio Northern University Assistant Professor of History Robert Waters told Sputnik that the US Senate’s enthusiasm to embrace Montenegro into NATO as a symptom of the near universal hostility to Russia in the institution.

    “At this point it is a gesture by the Senate to show that Russia cannot mess with our foreign policy and President [Donald] Trump went along with it. Foreign policy by gesture can be a dangerous thing,” Waters advised.

    Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin told Sputnik in an interview that attempts to drag certain Balkan states into NATO without asking the people's opinion could destabilize the region.

    Related:

    Montenegrin Authorities Should Let People Decide on Joining NATO in Referendum
    Tags:
    expansion, war, NATO, Eastern Europe, Montenegro
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