"Russia to ax joint projects with Montenegro"

Russia will end joint projects with Montenegro if it joins NATO, the Russian Federation Council's Defense Committee chairman has said.

Source: Beta, Tanjug, TASS

Reuters on Wednesday quoted RIA as reporting that Viktor Ozerov said the projects which could be axed included those in military areas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has been quoted by TASS as telling reporters on Wednesday:

"Moscow has always noted at various levels that the continuing expansion of NATO and NATO’s military infrastructure to the East, of course, cannot but lead to response actions from the East, namely, the Russian side in ensuring security interests and supporting the parity of interests."

He added that it was "early to speak about the particular steps" and that the president, the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry "are yet to announce their stance on the issue."

Peskov "declined to comment on whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was expected to react in this regard," and said there were "other priorities."

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg earlier today opened a meeting of member-states' foreign minister to say that the military alliance's "open door policy" had the goal of "spreading stability, security and democratic values."

The U.S. embassy in Podgorica, meanwhile, congratulated Montenegro, and said its membership in NATO will contribute to "stability of the Balkans, Europe, and the whole world."

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