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MP rips Montenegrin top envoy's anti-Russia hype as lies, loyalty ‘display’ for NATO

Montenegro’s top diplomat has accused Russia of attempting to prevent the country from joining NATO
Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic  EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Allegations by Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic about Russia’s interference in the country’s internal affairs is a fabrication meant to display loyalty to NATO leadership and join the West’s ‘anti-Russian’ bandwagon of hysteria, a senior Russian parliamentarian said on Monday.

"Montenegrin authorities’ falsehoods about Russia’s meddling in the internal affairs of that Balkan country is an illustrative example of media lies that they churn out to the world to convince their Western and American partners of their commitment to the (West’s) anti-Russian schemes," said Sergey Zheleznyak, Deputy Secretary of the United Russia Party’s General Council and member of the State Duma committee for international affairs.

Earlier, Montenegro’s top diplomat accused Russia of attempting to prevent the country from joining NATO. "It is not for the first time that we hear accusations citing elusive Russian hackers or a covert influence on election processes in countries where the authorities don’t know in fact how else to divert the public’s attention from a crisis and their political mistakes," Zheleznyak added.

He said "the gentlemen from Podgorica are telling sheer lies by maintaining that the people of Montenegro support the country’s entry into NATO, while Russia is allegedly hindering it."

"Russia has never interfered in the domestic affairs of other countries, we respect the sovereign right of peoples to decide the future of their country, while the Montenegrin leadership stubbornly turns a deaf ear to its citizens, many of whom actively speak out against the country being forced into the military-political alliance that was bombing and killing civilians of Montenegro and Serbia in 1999," the MP stressed.

"In order to silence the voices of the Montenegrin people against the loss of the country’s neutral status, the nation’s authorities have conjured up a myth about Russian meddling." "Thus they are trying to join the chorus of anti-Russian hysteria in the West and prove their loyalty to the leadership of the Alliance," Zheleznyak explained.

On April 28, the Montenegrin parliament voted to join NATO. The opposition boycotted the session. All 46 parliament members present 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 states.