US accuses Russia of interfering in Montenegro’s elections
A representative of the White House National Security Council accused Russia of planning a coup in Montenegro on election day.
According to him, the US completely believes the media’s reports that Russian intelligence was connected to the coup attempt in October last year.
“We are very concerned about Russian interference in the October elections in Montenegro, including credible reports of Russian support for an attempted election day attack on the government,” a senior White House official told reporters.
The official did not substantiate his claims with evidence, but said that the US supports the efforts by Montenegrin authorities to investigate this matter.
After parliamentary elections in Montenegro in October last year, 12 Serbian citizens were arrested, who had, according to Montenegrin authorities, intended to commit an act of sabotage. Later, Montenegrin Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić said that Russia was involved in the attempted coup. According to him, “Russian nationalists” as well as “Russian state organizations” were behind these developments.
Furthermore, the British Foreign Ministry stated that Russian citizens had organized the conspiracy against the government. The Telegraph wrote that the UK and the US have evidence of Russia’s involvement in what took place. The Times also wrote that the Eduard Shishmakov, a Russian accused by the Montenegrin authorities of organizing the attempted coup, is an officer of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).
The Montenegrin authorities placed the Russians Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, who are suspected of organizing an attempted coup, on Interpol’s international wanted list.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the statements about Russia’s involvement in the developments in Montenegro “baseless”. According to Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary to the Russian President, the accusations directed against Moscow by high-ranking Montenegrin officials are too serious, and making such accusations without without factual support is irresponsible.