Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s reply to a media question about the situation with Russian citizens in Montenegro
Question: Can you comment on the situation with Russian citizens in Montenegro in light of the recent developments there and a chill in Russian-Montenegrin relations?
Maria Zakharova: The current situation in Montenegro is clearly unfavourable for Russian citizens. A dramatic decline in bilateral relations provoked by Podgorica, the upcoming accession of Montenegro to NATO and the Montenegrin authorities’ decision to join all the EU sanctions against Russia provide the backdrop for an upsurge in anti-Russia hysteria. The general attitude to Russian business and Russians is becoming increasingly negative, and the ruling coalition is fostering a hostile attitude in Montenegrin society towards Russia and Russian citizens. In this situation, we cannot rule out the possibility of provocations, arrests of Russians on questionable charges and their extradition to other countries, primarily the United States.
The rise in anti-Russia sentiments, which is not typical of Montenegrins, is the doing of the country’s political authorities. The recent decision by Podgorica to grant a 90-day visa-free entry to Russian citizens is a ploy that cannot hide changes in the attitude towards Russia that is being fostered to please the West.
We recommend that Russians take these circumstances into account.