"It's GRU, it's Cossacks, not Russian state, or Bolshoi"
Montenegro's Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katanic says he "never accused official Russia for preparing a coup in Montenegro."Source: B92, Beta
Katanic added that he "in this context" never mentioned Russian President Vladimir Putin, "but parts of the administration, that is, two officials of the GRU (Russian military intelligence)."
"I've never accused official Moscow. The Russian state in Mayakovski, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Bolshoi Theater and the 150 million Russians. I accused the individuals, members of the SBB (sic), GRU agents, and some Cossacks. If that's official Moscow, then we have accused it," Katanic told the Podgorica-based daily Dan.
On Monday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected in a commentary that Katanich's accusations about Russia's involvement in an alleged coup attempt in Montenegro in 2016.
"Apparently, Chief Special Prosecutor of Montenegro Mr. Katnich decided to join the competition for bringing the most absurd charges against Russia. This leader of Montenegrin justice has been engaged in an active search for non-existent 'irrefutable evidence'” of the commission of the so-called October 2016 coup attempt in Podgorica, in which 'agents of the GRU allegedly participated," the commentary said.
"October 4 of this year, in the High Court of Montenegro, the defense submitted a response received from the Russian Foreign Ministry to an attorney’s request regarding the mythical stay in Moscow of one of the main prosecution witnesses. In response, Mr. Katnich stated that this document 'was concocted by the GRU with the aim of poisoning the participants of the court' and demanded that he conduct a chemical examination of him - it seems, in an attempt to identify traces of the notorious 'novichok' substance," it continued, adding:
This behavior of the Chief Special Prosecutor is a vivid illustration of the sad state of the justice system in Montenegro.
"As we have repeatedly stated, the Russian side categorically denies any possibility of official involvement in the far-fetched attempts to organize illegal actions, considers such accusations to be unsubstantiated, without any evidence and absurd," the Russian MFA concluded.