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news 06 Mar 17

Johnson: Montenegro Shows Russia is ‘Undermining’ Balkans

British Foreign Secretary says events in Montenegro show Russia is ‘undermining’ countries in the Western Balkans.

BIRN
London
 
 Boris Johnson: Wikimedia Commons/johnhemming

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said events last October in Montenegro - where the government says it forestalled a Russian-organized coup - show the Kremlin is busy “undermining” governments in the Balkans and elsewhere.

Speaking in Brussels ahead of a planned trip to Moscow, Johnson said of the Russians: “They’re engaged in undermining countries in the Western Balkans – you saw what happened in Montenegro – to say nothing of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which are as everybody knows completely unacceptable.

“So point number one is to get that message across to the Russians. They’ve got to change,” he said.

Britain’s political establishment has broadly accepted the Podgorica government’s version of events on October 16, when officials said they narrowly prevented a group of Serbian nationalists organized from Russia from storming the parliament and assassinating the former prime minister, Milo Djukanovic.

Opposition parties bitterly contest the claim, insisting the government invented the coup claim to discredit them.

Russia and the West have been engaged in an increasingly tough tug of war over Montenegro, which was traditionally close to Russia but whose government seeks to join both the EU and NATO.

Russia has dismissed allegations that it was involved in an attempted coup in Montenegro as “absurd”.

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