MOSCOW, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The Kremlin denied allegations the Russian government was involved in an alleged plot to assassinate Montenegro's prime minister.
The Republic of Montenegro, in southeastern Europe, was a state of the former Yugoslavia, and its pro-Western prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, is eager for his country to join NATO.
Milvoje Katnic, Montenegrin special prosecutor, blamed "nationalists from Russia" for an attempted Oct. 16 terrorist attack, the day of national elections. He said a criminal group conspired to enter Montenegro's parliament, kill the prime minister and bring a pro-Russian government to power. Twenty Serbian and Montenegrin citizens were arrested on suspicion of plotting terrorist attacks on Oct. 16; some of those arrested fought as pro-Russia forces in Ukraine and one is a former commander of Serbian special police forces.
"We have no evidence that Russia as a state was involved in that [the planned assassination], but we have evidence and proof of the involvement of Russian nationalists. I am using the term 'nationalists' in a negative sense. Their plan was to stop Montenegro on its Euro-Atlantic path, not to let it joint NATO. It was the original mission," Katnic said.
The Russian government said it had no involvement in the coup attempt, with Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov saying "We obviously, categorically deny a possibility of official involvement into arranging any illegal actions." He added that Montenegrin authorities have not officially asked for information from Moscow.