00:20 GMT30 September 2020
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    UK Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday she would ask Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to express Britain's concerns over Moscow's alleged interference in Montenegro affairs during his upcoming visit to Russia.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — She stressed that deteriorating situation in the Balkans presented "a threat to a wider collective security."

    "The Foreign Secretary will be visiting Russia in the coming weeks, where I expect him to set out our concerns about reports of Russian interference in the affairs of the government of Montenegro," May said, speaking in the UK Parliament.

    On October 16, 2015, on the parliamentary elections day in Montenegro, 20 people were detained and 14 of them arrested for planning to conduct attacks targeting both civilian population and high-ranking statesmen and to seize the parliament's building. In November, a Montenegrin prosecutor was quoted by the media as alleging that "nationalists from Russia" planned to overthrow a government.

    In December 2016, Montenegro put two Russian nationals — Vladimir Popov and Eduard Shirokov — and several Serbian nationals on the Interpol wanted list on suspicion of plotting the coup. The special prosecutor's office said it suspected Shirokov of planning the assassination of Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. According to media reports, the majority of the detainees have admitted their guilt in planning the coup. In February, The Telegraph newspaper reported that senior sources in the UK government suspected Russian intelligence of plotting the coup in Montenegro and the assassination of Djukanovic.

    Moscow has refuted the accusations, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling them unsubstantiated and irresponsible. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the accusations of Russia's alleged involvement were baseless.

    In February, Montenegro's Foreign Minister Srdan Darmanovic accused Russia of impeding country's accession to NATO.

    Montenegro was invited to NATO in December 2015. So far, 25 NATO countries have approved Montenegro's accession to the alliance.

    Related:

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    Moscow Processes Montenegro's Request in Probing Coup Attempt
    US Politicians Distort the Facts About Montenegro's Enthusiasm to Join NATO
    Tags:
    visit, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Russia, United Kingdom, Montenegro
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