MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On December 2, 2015, NATO invited Montenegro to join the military bloc, in its first expansion to Eastern Europe in six years. Podgorica accepted the invitation the following day. The decision triggered protests in the capital, with some 5,000 opponents taking to the streets. NATO bombed the tiny west Balkan state 17 years ago when Montenegro and Serbia were part of Yugoslavia.
"You know, it's a special kind of humiliation when you sell the idea that these countries stretch out to you after you bombed them yesterday. It is the imposition of Stockholm syndrome: when a victim loves his tormentor. But the memory of bombing is still alive," Zakharova told the Russian Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.
In the post-Cold War era, NATO saw a 75-percent increase in membership – from 16 to 28 members. The 12 new members were all in Eastern Europe, either former Warsaw Pact member states, including three former Soviet republics, or former Yugoslav federal republics.