Russia and Montenegro: How and Why a Centuries’ Old Relationship Ruptured

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 17, Issue 1 (2018)


By the end of 2016 Montenegro and America were experiencing some similar problems. Numerous accusations by politicians included the fact that the elections were irregular; Presidential in US and Parliamentarian in Montenegro. Both Montenegro and the USA may have experienced Russian meddling in their democratic processes. Russia was involved in obstruction of the American presidential elections, according to an official assessment from American intelligence agencies. During the 16 October election night in Montenegro, a group of Russian citizens together with individuals from Serbia and Montenegro, reportedly planned to assassinate former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and overthrow his pro-Western government. According to the statement by the Montenegrin Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic, Russian nationalists were involved in the planned action with the goal of stopping Montenegrin NATO accession. On 18 November 2016, Katnic released the names of two Russians who are accused of organizing the attack; Eduard Shirokov, currently on the Interpol’s red notice and Vladimir Popov. In 2014, Shirokov was a deputy military attaché in the Russian embassy in Poland, but was expelled as persona non grata, due to alleged espionage for Russia. Both Shirokov and Popov are members of GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service.