LONDON — For the first time in six years, NATO on Wednesday invited a new member to join the military alliance, prompting a heated response from Russia and further underscoring escalating tensions between the Cold War adversaries.
The invitation, to tiny Montenegro, came nine years after the Balkan nation began the process of accession. But the timing of the offer came at a particularly delicate moment as the West is trying to persuade Russia to link forces to help defeat the Islamic State and end the civil war in Syria.
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