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Kremlin mum on reports that Montenegrin PM banned from entering Russia

May 31, 2017, 15:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, May 31. /TASS/. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on media reports on Wednesday that Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic and other senior politicians have been put on Russia’s blacklist in response to the country’s decision to join sanctions against Moscow.

"No, I know nothing about this," Peskov told reporters.

The online version of Montenegro’s Pobjeda newspaper reported, citing sources in the country’s Foreign Ministry, that the blacklist also includes former Montenegrin Prime Minister and leader of the Democratic Party of Socialists Milo Dukanovic, and Parliament Speaker Ivan Brajovic and 46 lawmakers who had voted in favor of accession to NATO. "The list includes at least 70 individuals," the paper said. Businessmen close to state authorities and heads of major Montenegrin companies are also on the list, according to the report.

The report has not been confirmed by officials. Unlike the EU and the US, Russia does not publish its blacklists of foreigners who have been banned entry to the country. Moscow explains this by the need to protect personal data.

Detention of Montenegro’s lawmaker in Russia

On Monday, Montenegro’s Foreign Ministry handed over a note of protest to Russian Ambassador to the country Sergey Gritzai over the detention of a Montenegrin lawmaker in Moscow. Miodrag Vukovich, MP of the ruling pro-Western Democratic Party of Socialists, was held at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on Sunday and sent back to Tivat on the first flight on Monday, Montenegro’s media reports said.

Vukovic was banned from entering Russia as he is on Russia’s sanctions list imposed after Montenegro unilaterally joined sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities, a spokesperson for the Russian Embassy to Montenegro told TASS on Monday.

In May 2014, Montenegro introduced sanctions against Russia amid events in Ukraine and has repeatedly extended them. Despite public protests, on April 28 Montenegro’s parliament voted for joining NATO. The country’s leadership pushed through the parliament the unpopular decision, refusing to hold a referendum. On June 5, Montenegro will officially become a NATO member.

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