MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree on recognition of the republic of Montenegro, the Kremlin press service said Monday.
In a referendum held May 21, the Balkan republic voted to separate from its union with Serbia, completing the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
"Russia has recognized the Republic of Montenegro as an independent and sovereign state," the decree says.
The Montenegro elections commission has said that during May 21 referendum 55.5% (with 55% required) of votes were cast in favor of Montenegro seceding from its union with Serbia.
"It is important now that Montenegro and Serbia start a constructive, amiable and comprehensive dialogue aimed at developing mutually acceptable political solutions for future relations," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on May 23.
The European Union also said it would respect the results of the referendum.
Putin has instructed the Foreign Ministry to hold negotiations with the Republic of Montenegro on establishing diplomatic relations between the two states at the level of ambassadors and opening embassies in Moscow and Podgorica.
The Foreign Ministry also confirmed Sunday that Russia would continue developing friendly inter-state relations with the Republic of Serbia.