Newly published images, reportedly of two Russian agents and taken last year by an unnamed European security service, have been cited as proof that Moscow was involved in an attempt to kill Montenegro's then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.
According to Britain’s Mail Online website, the images show Eduard Shishmakov and Vladimir Popov, "allegedly both Kremlin military secret service operatives," in neighbouring Serbia days after the suspected coup failed in October last year.
One of the images reportedly shows Shishmakov talking to a Serbian national named Alexsandar Sindjelic, "who has since confessed his involvement in the attempted coup and admitted working as an agent for the two Russians," according to the Mail Online.
According to Poland’s niezalezna.pl website, Shishmakov once served as deputy military attaché at the Russian embassy in Warsaw and was expelled from Poland in 2014 on charges of espionage.
Under Poland’s previous government, Shishmakov took part in public events including meetings "in a friendly atmosphere" with experts from Poland’s National Security Bureau (BBN) at the time, niezalezna.pl reported on Tuesday.
In May 2013, Shishmakov participated in ceremonies in Poland’s southern Silesia region to commemorate the 68th anniversary of Allied victory in World War II, niezalezna.pl said.
Two months before his expulsion from Poland, Shishmakov was seen in the northern city of Gdynia, where he visited a Russian ship, the website added.
Shishmakov went to Montenegro under a new name of Shirokov, according to niezalezna.pl.
The alleged coup attempt in Montenegro is thought to have been related to the pro-Western aspirations of the government in Podgorica, niezalezna.pl reported.
Montenegro joined NATO on 5 June this year, it added.
The two Russians are accused of planning to take over Montenegro’s parliament, assassinate the country’s prime minister and install a pro-Russian leadership to frustrate Montenegro's plans to join NATO, according to the Mail Online.
Shishmakov and Popov have been charged together with 12 Montenegrin nationals, who were detained in February this year, the Mail Online said on Tuesday.
Russia has denied involvement in the alleged coup attempt, the Mail website noted. (str/pk)
Source: niezalezna.pl, Mail Online