Kremlin denies plotting coup, assassination in Montenegro
Aleksandar Vasovic, Petar Komnenic, Reuters, Feb 20 2017
MOSCOW/ PODGORICA – The Kremlin on Monday rejected “irresponsible” allegations by Montenegro that Russia was involved in a plot to assassinate its prime minister. Montenegrin Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic on Sunday accused Moscow of involvement in the alleged conspiracy last October, which he said was aimed at opposing Đukanović‘s efforts towards the integration of the former Yugoslav republic into NATO. He told independent Prva TV:
Now we know that Russia’s state institutions were involved. It is up to Russian state institutions to investigate this.
The Kremlin dismissed Katnic’s allegations as absurd and denied interfering in Montenegro’s internal affairs. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call:
These words are too serious … and failing to support them with reliable information is irresponsible to say the least.
On Oct 16, the same day Montenegrins voted in a parliamentary election, authorities arrested 20 people from neighboring Serbia on charges of planning armed attacks against the state.
Here’s the story of the coup attempt, from Wikipedia:
A group of 20 Serbian and Montenegrin citizens were arrested on Oct 16, the day of the parliamentary election. Fourteen remain in custody (as of Nov 12), including former head of Serbian Gendarmery Bratislav Dikić, and some that fought for the pro-Russian side in the War in Donbass. The Montenegrin prosecutor Milivoje Katnić has stated that there is no evidence of Russian state involvement, but that two Russian nationalists organized the plot. Russians in Serbia were plotting against Montenegrin PM Đukanović, detected by Serbian prosecution, which prevented them from realizing their plan. The Serbian authorities found €125k in cash and uniforms, and deported an unknown number of Russian citizens. At the same time, Serbian PM Vučić asserted that there had been increased activity in Serbia by a number of different intelligence agencies from both the East and the West, against Serbian interests, and that members of these agencies had been apprehended. The Montenegrin prosecutor said that the intention was to have 500 people enter Montenegro on election night to “cause violence”, and hire assassin snipers to murder Đukanović, to stop Montenegro from entering NATO and prevent Russia from losing an ally in the Balkans. The Montenegrin opposition claims that the conspiracy was created to influence the outcome of the elections.