Russia Is Pretending to Be Angry Over Montenegro Joining NATO

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After seven years of work, Montenegro has finally been invited to join NATO:

NATO announced plans on Wednesday to enlarge its membership, a move that brought an angry response from Moscow….In Moscow, a Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry S. Peskov, said that NATO’s expansion would be met with retaliatory measures from Russia, Reuters reported, and Russia was also reportedly planning to halt joint projects with Montenegro.

In case you’re geographically challenged, the map on the right shows NATO’s current members (in dark blue) as well as the location of Montenegro. As you can see, Montenegro is across the Adriatic from Italy, about 500 miles from Ukraine and a thousand miles from Russia. Joining NATO is not exactly a threat either to Russia’s borders or to its sphere of influence.

But it used to be part of Yugoslavia, which was a Soviet ally back in the day. So this requires Vladimir Putin to stamp his feet and claim that Russia’s heritage is being attacked by the West, blah blah blah. You may safely ignore it. This hardly came as a surprise to the Russians, and it hardly represents a threat to them. It’s just an opportunity for a bit of jingoism to shore up the home market.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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