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    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, right, and Montenegro's Foreign Minister Igor Luksic address a media conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015

    Montenegro Joining NATO Would Mean End to Military Cooperation With Russia

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    Joint military and technical programs between Montenegro and Russia will no longer be possible if the Balkan state joins NATO, according to Russia's Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia will scrap programs of military and technical cooperation with Montenegro if it joins NATO, Chairperson of the Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov said Wednesday.

    Earlier in the day, NATO Spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said that the alliance had invited Montenegro to begin accession talks to become a member of the bloc.

    "Montenegro should recognize that a lot of programs that have been previously realized by it with Russia, including the ones in military and technical cooperation, will be impossible in the context of its NATO accession," Ozerov told RIA Novosti.

    In September, the United States announced that it was ready to extend an invitation in December to Montenegro to join the bloc. The announcement triggered a wave of protests in the Balkan country.

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    NATO, military-technical cooperation, Russia’s Defense Ministry, Viktor Ozerov, Montenegro, Russia
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