RUSSIA’S BALKAN GAMBIT

On 7 June, NATO welcomed Montenegro as its newest member with a flag-raising ceremony at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels. “NATO is an alliance of democracies, united by a single purpose: to stand with each other and defend each other,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, calling it a historic day. “Montenegro’s accession sends a message to other states that seek membership: that if a country travels the path of reform, embraces democracy and the rule of law and proves itself willing to and able to contribute to our collective defense, sharing the responsibilities as well as the rewards, then it, too, can join the alliance.” Montenegro’s entry into NATO is significant for Russia given the two nations’ historic, cultural and religious ties.

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Juncker makes big call for EU defense push

European Commission president painted a stark and dark portrait of modern-day security threats.

PRAGUE — Declaring that “soft power alone is not powerful enough,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a forceful case Friday for increased military cooperation and defense spending by EU nations.

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