Dragging Montenegro into NATO may cause a rift in the country’s society, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said at a meeting with leaders of Montenegro’s Democratic Front Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Meshkov received the two politicians at their request.
“The Montenegrin counterparts were briefed on Russia’s position of principal concerning NATO’s counterproductive expansion and attempts to drag Montenegro into the bloc,” the ministry said in a statement. “A deep rift in the country’s society can lead to further instability. Russia understands the Democratic Front leaders’ position on the need to take the citizens’ opinion into consideration and conduct a referendum on Montenegro’s NATO membership.”
According to Russia’s Foreign Ministry the meeting’s participants also “exchanged views on the current state and prospects of Russia-Montenegro relations”.