Montenegro Says Russia Trying to Force Regime Change

Stevo Vasiljevic / ReutersRiot police protect themselvs with shields during clashes with protesters in front of the parliament building in Podgorica, Montenegro, Oct. 24, 2015.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has accused Russia of supporting Serbian nationalists in a bid to force a regime change, the RIA Novosti state-run news agency reported Monday.

“There is no doubt that Russia has and continues to play an active role in organizing anti-government protests in Podgorica,” Djukanovic was cited as saying Sunday in an interview with Croatia's HRT television channel.

Djukanovic referred to three past Russian Foreign Ministry statements to support his claim that Russia opposes the country's political course, including its bid for accession into the NATO military alliance.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said in an online statement earlier this month that Montenegro's “Euro-Atlantic integration” would lead to “the exacerbation of socio-economic problems.”

Riot police in Podgorica on Saturday used tear gas to disperse several thousand protesters demanding the resignation of the prime minister and snap elections.

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