Russia has threatened that Montenegro's NATO accession would result in "retaliatory actions" after the Balkan state was invited to join the U.S.-led military alliance in its first enlargement since 2009, the RBC news portal reported Wednesday.
The decision, described by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg as "historic," would see the organization expand further into Eastern Europe, with 12 states which were formerly part of the Eastern bloc having joined already.
"The continued eastward expansion of NATO and NATO's military infrastructure cannot but result in retaliatory actions … from the Russian side, in terms of ensuring security and supporting the parity of interests," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, RBC reported.
Earlier on Tuesday, the head of Russia's upper parliamentary chamber Viktor Ozerov said that Russia would withdraw from any joint Russian-Montenegrin projects if Montenegro becomes part of the alliance.
"Montenegrins should bear in mind that its NATO admission will mean that [the continuation of] numerous programs, including in the field of military and technological cooperation, will be impossible," he was quoted as saying by RBC.
Stoltenberg retorted that Montenegro's accession did not constitute an attempt to weaken Russia, according to Vedomosti.
"The decision has nothing to do with Russia. It affects Montenegro and NATO," he was quoted as saying.