Russian Deputy PM Rogozin denied entry into Montenegro

The Montenegro Ministry of Foreign Affairs has banned the entry of Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, into the country.  Rogozin is on the "black list" and therefore subject to sanctions due to his position on the Ukrainian crisis.  This was reported by Glavnoe and Radio Svoboda in the Balkans.

Montenegrins have not forgotten Rogozin’s words that they will “regret” their decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  The authorities are now trying to prevent a new visit from the Russian First Deputy Prime Minister to Podgorica.  The government newspaper, Victory, wrote that Rogozin is not only subject to an entry ban, but also to financial sanctions.

Rogozin has repeatedly made harsh statements about the issue of NATO’s expansion.  A particular incident occurred in December when NATO decided to start negotiations between Podgorica and Brussels for Montenegro to join the Alliance.  Rogozin compared the small Balkan state to the hero of Arkady Gaidar's work, which is tantamount to calling the country traitorous and cowardly.

“The Premier of Montenegro has called an invitation to the country to join NATO a reward.  Finally, Europe’s black sheep was invited to join the rest of the inglorious capitalists,” Rogozin commented on his Facebook page.

One of the leaders of the Democratic Front opposition party, Milan Knezevic, had invited Rogozin to Montenegro without the consent of the authorities.  Knezevic told reporters that he is ready to provide “security measures” to the politician.  “Instead of fighting with the agents and representative of the so-called Islamic State, the Montenegrin regime has threatened to arrest the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, who is fighting uncompromisingly against global terrorism," Knezevic said.

The Democratic Front party organized anti-government and anti-NATO protests last year in an attempt to seize the Montenegrin parliament.  According to observers, Russia has played a significant role in the anti-NATO campaign in the country, as well as supporting anti-Western forces.  Moscow has also established contacts with representatives of the Democratic Front, which is a minor political force among the Montenegrin opposition.    

  Russia, Montenegro