After hearing of Russia’s war games in Serbia, NATO rushed to Serbia’s neighbor Montenegro to hold an emergency exercise drill as the two Balkan neighbors seem to be heading in different directions strategically.
The five-day drill in Montenegro that started Monday includes fighting floods and chemical attacks. It will involve 680 unarmed personnel from seven NATO countries and 10 partner states.
The 13-day armed exercise in Serbia, dubbed “The Slavic Brotherhood 2016,” begins Wednesday. It will include 150 Russian paratroopers, 50 air force staffers, 3 transport planes and an unspecified number of troops from Serbia and Belarus, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.
Both Serbia and Montenegro – a single state before their western sponsored split in 2006 – are traditional Russian Christian Orthodox allies. But since the split, the US led NATO alliance managed to grab a hold of Montenegro by bribing their influential politicians, much to the dismay of the entire country.
This included an invitiation for Montenegro to join NATO despite the fact Montenegro has no sizeable army and no air force. There has been strong opposition from Russia as well which has a problem with NATO’s perpetual expansion. Serbia has no plans to join NATO, the Serbs seem to have trouble forgetting the bombing of their schools, bridges and hospitals by NATO back in 2001 which killed hundreds of civilians.
Montenegrin officials following the example set by Clinton’s presidential campaign, have accused Russia of standing behind an alleged coup on election day earlier in October to topple the pro-Western government because of its NATO bid. Each time Montenegrins rise to protest their corrupt Government installed with US meddling, Moscow seems to be the handy scapegoat utilized by Montenegrin officials to stay in power and clamp down hard on protesters.