NATO, Russia to hold parallel drills in the Balkans

NATO is holding an emergency exercise drill in Montenegro while Russian troops will participate in a war game in Serbia as the two Balkans 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 include 680 personnel from seven NATO countries and 10 partner states.

The 13-day war game in Serbia, dubbed "The Slavic Brotherhood 2016," begins Wednesday. It will include 150 Russian paratroopers and an unspecified number of troops from Serbia and Belarus.

Tiny Montenegro has been invited to join NATO, despite strong opposition from Russia. Serbia has been under pressure from the Kremlin not to join the Western military alliance or the EU.

Both Serbia and Montenegro are traditional Russian allies.