Serbia arrests two men over alleged Montenegro coup attempt

Montenegro issued international arrest warrants for two Serbian suspects for their alleged role in a pro-Russian plot to kill the prime minister on election day in October.

Courtesy of: Interpol
Courtesy of: Interpol

Serbian police said that Nemanja Ristic and Predrag Bogicevic were arrested on an international warrant issued by Montenegro last year.

Serbian police said on Friday that they arrested two Serbs sought by Montenegro for alleged involvement in a pro-Russian plot to overthrow the Balkan country's government.

Police said that Nemanja Ristic and Predrag Bogicevic were arrested on an international warrant issued by Montenegro last year. Ristic was later released from custody pending the extradition proceedings, but he isn't allowed to leave the country, Belgrade's Higher Court said

In November, Montenegro's chief prosecutor said a group of Serb and Russian nationalists had planned to assassinate then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic on election day in October to get an opposition alliance into power. 

Montenegro, the last state to break off from Serbia, which constituted the heartland of what was once the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, has been pivoting towards the West since voting for independence in 2006.

In 2015, the country received an invitation to join NATO as the North Atlantic bloc continues to expand into territory that was previously under the Soviet sphere of influence.

Montenegro has also issued international warrants for the arrest of two Russians, reportedly members of a Russian military spy agency, for alleged "terrorist" activities. They allegedly coordinated the coup plot from Serbia and tracked Djukanovic's movements.

The suspects reportedly escaped to Russia. 

Russia has denied involvement, but has actively supported local groups that oppose having Montenegro, a traditional Slavic ally, become the 29th member of NATO.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies