Montenegro Opposition Seeks Closer Links with Russia, Serbia

Montenegro’s opposition coalition, which claimed a tiny majority in Sunday’s election on a platform of seeking closer links with Serbia and Russia, has called Western sanctions against Moscow a mistake, The Moscow Times reported.

Zdravko Krivokapić, leader of the For the Future of Montenegro coalition, told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency Tuesday that the Montenegrin economy has suffered major losses due to anti-Russia sanctions.

“We’re a small state and cannot have any influence on the global level,” Krivokapić said.

“That’s why it’s unacceptable that such a small state became the first to impose sanctions against Russia. I think it’s a completely wrong step,” he added.

Montenegro’s pro-West ruling party could be knocked from power for the first time in three decades after the election gave a razor-thin edge to opposition camps, results showed Monday.

The Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) led by President Milo Djukanovic is still the biggest single party after winning just over a third of the vote, according to official results from Sunday’s election.

But three opposition coalitions who have pledged to unite, including For the Future of Montenegro, could outnumber DPS, in what would be a political earthquake for the small Adriatic nation of 620,000 people.

Montenegro followed the EU in imposing financial restrictions and travel bans on Russia for its annexation of Crimea in 2014. The move triggered a tit-for-tat response from Russia in 2017, days before the country officially joined NATO.

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