Montenegro alleges Russian coup plot
Intriguing Montenegro attracts a lot of Russian visitors. Source: Allfreephotos
It is “the last piece in the jigsaw”, according to western intelligence sources.
Montenegro’s authorities claim the conspiracy where a group disguised as police officers were to attack the parliament on October 16 and kill the prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, had been approved by a member of Russian military intelligence. In a move that will anger the Kremlin, UK and US intelligence agencies have been called in to help the Montenegrin authorities unpick the plot.
Passports belonging to one of the two main suspects tie him to the Russian military and suggest he used an alias to plot the operation.
An old passport for Eduard Shishmakov describes him as the assistant military attaché at the Russian Embassy in Poland.
It is alleged that the commander in Montenegro, a Serb activist called Aleksandar Sindjelic who is now helping the prosecution, was invited to Moscow by a man called Eduard Sismakov, a member of “Russian military structures”, to be cleared for the mission.
Nato security operatives claim it is proof Eduard Shirokov was an intelligent officer for Moscow. Western powers have called the coup attempt “further evidence of aggressive Russian involvement in the heart of Europe”.
The Polish authorities said that Shirokov had been thrown out of Poland.
“We would like to inform you that Eduard Vadimovich Shishmakov was identified as GRU [the main Russian military foreign-intelligence service] and in October 2014 he was declared persona non grata by the Polish government,” the Polish authorities said.
“This decision was taken after discovering his involvement in intelligence activities.”
Montenegro’s Chief Special Prosecutor, Milivoje Katnic, said the more recent passport for “Shirokov” could only have been issued with the help of the authorities.
“We now have evidence that nationalist structures from Russia are behind the coup attempt, but also that certain state bodies of Russia are involved, on a certain level,” he announced on television.
“It is clear that the passport on another name could not have been issued, as well as everything else, to send [the suspect] to Serbia and organise everything, without the involvement of certain structures.
“So the passport was given to him by certain Russian state bodies under another name, and he is a member of the Russian military structures and his name is Eduard Shishmakov, that is his personal identity and we will charge him under that personal identity.”
Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, denied the “unfounded accusations,” adding that they “haven’t been backed by a single fact”.