Montenegro's president to EU: don't hand us over to Russia

Montenegro President Milo Djukanovic speaks and gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in Montenegro's capital Podgorica, Thursday, April 4, 2019. The pro-Western president of Montenegro, who has defied Russia to steer his small country into NATO, has warned that the integration of Western Balkans into the EU is crucial for the bloc to protect itself from growing Russian and Chinese political and economic influence in the region.

PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) — It all started with a video posted on social media: a secret recording from 2016 that appears to show a well-known local tycoon hand over an envelope containing bundles of cash to a party associate of Montenegro's long-standing leader.

The prominent businessman, a former close friend and confidant of Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic, released the video late last year in retaliation for charges filed against him for fraud and money laundering.

The so-called envelope affair has triggered weeks of anti-Djukanovic protests, demanding the resignation of one of Europe's longest-lasting leaders after his almost 30 years in power.

The almost simultaneous eruption of strong anti-government movements in neighboring Serbia and Albania has prompted talk of a "Balkan Spring" in reference to a wave of protests across the Arab world in 2010.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments