STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

US says 'credible reports' Russia backed Montenegro attack

The White House ratcheted up its criticism of Russia today, pointedly saying it had seen credible reports that Moscow backed an election-day attack in Montenegro last year.     

Published: 13th April 2017 03:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th April 2017 03:47 AM   |  A+A-

The US White House. | AP File Photo

By PTI

WASHINGTON: The White House ratcheted up its criticism of Russia today, pointedly saying it had seen credible reports that Moscow backed an election-day attack in Montenegro last year.     

A senior administration official -- speaking as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Moscow for difficult talks on Syria -- pointed the finger of blame at Russia for an alleged coup attempt during October's election.     

"We are very concerned about Russian interference in the October elections in Montenegro," the official said, "including credible reports of Russian support for an attempted election-day attack on the government."     

A special prosecutor in Montenegro has accused Russian state bodies and the pro-Russian Democratic Front (DF) party of trying to overthrow the government, in an effort to prevent Montenegro from entering NATO.     

Andrija Mandic, who is one of DF's two leaders and is among 25 people accused by the prosecutor, told AFP in March that the case was "a staged political process" to discredit him and his party. Mandic is a fierce opponent of his country's looming NATO accession.     

A dozen of the accused were sentenced to several months' imprisonment after reaching a deal with the prosecutor.     

Prominent Montenegrin lawyer Branislav Lutovac, who said the case was "full of contradictions," told AFP last month that these were "light sentences for serious crimes".     

Today's US comments came a day after President Donald Trump approved Montenegro's NATO accession and prepared to meet the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the White House later in the day.     

Under Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin has long seen the Balkans as within its "sphere of influence".     

Despite initial hopes in Moscow of better ties with Washington under Trump, the US new president has tempered his praise of Putin, most recently condemning his support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad.     

Trump's harder line comes amid growing questions about whether his aides and associates colluded with alleged Russian meddling in the US election. That line of inquiry has focused on Trump allies Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

IPL_2020
flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp