Pro-Russian opposition parties protest against Montenegro's NATO membership, demanding a referendum on the issue.
Sources: AFP via Yahoo
Sources: AFP via Yahoo
French President Emmanuel Macron says that a deal to "avoid war in Ukraine" is "within reach" and that it is legitimate for Russia to raise its own security concerns to NATO. Macron will meet with Vladimir Putin in Moscow tomorrow.
Military personnel from the Swedish Armed Forces are deployed to the island of Gotland in response to fears that Russia may attempt an invasion of Swedish territory amidst tensions between NATO and Russia over their intention to invade Ukraine.
Russian president Vladimir Putin demands that NATO guarantee that it will not move its forces into Ukraine, accusing NATO and the U.S. of "trying to send Ukraine and Russia into direct armed conflict."
Montenegro and NATO sign an accession agreement, paving the way for the country's future entry into the military alliance. All of NATO's members must now ratify the agreement, with Prime Minister Milo Đukanović expecting Montenegro to join by mid 2017.
NATO's Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense System becomes partly operational at Romania's Deveselu airbase, as U.S. Navy personnel takes control of the site after years of construction. Aegis Ashore facilities in Romania form part of NATO's European missile defence system, with another site under construction in Poland expected to become operational by 2018. The United States Ambassador to Romania Hans G. Klemm says that they have explained to the Russians on numerous occasions that the missile system is, "not directed at Russia, nor does it have the capability to threaten Russia." The head of Russia's Strategic Missile Troops, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, has dismissed the purported effectiveness of the missile defense system, saying Moscow develops “brand new and effective means and techniques to penetrate any missile defense system”.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announces the invitation sent to Montenegro to join the military alliance, 16 years after the country, as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was bombed by the alliance in the Kosovo War. Montenegro's accession would result in "retaliatory actions", according to a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Thousands protest and clash with police in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, demanding the immediate resignation of Prime Minister Milo Đukanović. Đukanović has rejected calls to resign and has accused the opposition of trying to prevent the country's NATO membership, saying he is convinced Russia is behind the unrest.