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news 07 Aug 14

Montenegro ‘Regrets’ Inclusion in Russia’s Sanctions Net

Former close ally of Russia said it had no choice but to join US and EU sanctions on the Kremlin over Ukraine, as harmony with EU positions is a national priority.

Tanjug, B92

Montenegro, once a close ally of Russia, is among the countries facing Russian counter-measures, having joined Western sanctions imposed on Moscow for its role in the Ukraine crisis.

On Wednesday, Russia declared a one-year ban on the import of agricultural products from those countries that had either imposed sanctions against it, or had supported those measures.

Montenegro's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration on Thursday said it “regretted the decision of the Russian Federation”, and that it had told the Russian embassy in Podgorica to inform it in detail concerning the “special measures” mentioned in President Vladimir Putin’s decree.

The ministry also said that “harmonizing with EU positions” was Montenegro’s foreign policy priority, and that the sanctions which Montenegro had introduced against Russia “at no point had an anti-Russian character”, but rather reflected its respect for the principles and values that the country stands for in international relations.

The ministry said it believed Russian authorities and Russian citizens “understand Montenegro's stance and position” adding that the Russian measures will not damage “friendly relations between the two countries, nor jeopardize in any serious manner the continuation and development of bilateral ties and cooperation”.

Montenegro and Russia have a history of close ties that dates back to the days of the Montenegrin monarchy - but their friendship has frayed as the government in Podgorica seeks to place the country firmly inside EU and NATO structures.

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