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The West and Russia clash in Montenegro election

Published 16/10/2016

A man passes an election poster for pro-Western prime minister Milo Djukanovic (AP)
A man passes an election poster for pro-Western prime minister Milo Djukanovic (AP)

The small Balkan state of Montenegro is voting in a parliamentary election that could determine whether it continues on its Western course or turns back to its traditional ally Russia.

The vote on Sunday pits the long-ruling pro-Europe Democratic Party of Socialists, led by powerful prime minister Milo Djukanovic, against a cluster of pro-Russian and pro-Serbian opposition groups that staunchly oppose the country's Nato bid.

The country of 650,000 people, squeezed between the Adriatic Sea and towering mountains, is deeply divided among those who favour and oppose Western integration.

Pre-election polls have predicted the closest race since Montenegro gained independence from much larger Serbia a decade ago.

Montenegro had been a faithful ally of Russia. But after splitting with Serbia in a 2006 referendum, Montenegro took a strong turn toward Euro-Atlantic integration.

AP

Press Association

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