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Diplomat says Montenegro playing 'Russian interference' card as excuse for NATO membership

May 29, 14:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier in April, Montenegrin parliament voted for joining NATO

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© EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic’s claims about Russia’s alleged intervention in his country’s internal affairs are aimed at presenting excuses of Montenegro’s accession to NATO to the country’s people, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the National News Service broadcaster in an interview.

"Information support for joining the alliance was built on espionage mania and ostensible need for protection against a virtual enemy. All that was used for one simple reason. The people of Montenegro were far from getting enthusiastic over the idea of NATO membership. This is precisely why no referendum was called. The official establishment was reluctant to demonstrate the true statistics showing the real will of the Montenegrins. A decision was made to suppress this will and to invent tales about a ‘Kremlin hand’," Zakharova said.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry more than once commented on numerous statements by Montenegrin politicians about an ostensible Russian threat, intervention in the internal affairs, etc. All that was used for the sake of presenting to the people some excuses for the country’s admission to NATO," she said.

Earlier, Montenegro’s Foreign Minister accused Russia of intervention in his country’s internal affairs. He claimed that Moscow had been trying to prevent his country from joining NATO.

The Montenegrin parliament on April 28 voted for joining NATO. The opposition boycotted the session. All 46 parliament members presence voted for the decision. Montenegro’s authorities pushed the resolution through parliament in which they control a majority. No referendum on the issue was held. On May 25 Montenegro attended the alliance’s summit for the first time since the ratification of the accession agreement by all member-countries.

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