Montenegro has issued an international arrest warrant for two Russians and three Serbs who were allegedly involved in a coup plot to overthrow the country's pro-NATO government.
The state prosecutor's office said on December 27 that the five are being sought for alleged "terrorist" activities that included plans to kill the country's prime minister and take over parliament on Election Day in October.
The two Russians, reportedly members of a Russian military spy agency, allegedly tracked the movements of Montenegro's then-Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic from the territory of neighboring Serbia.
Local media identified one of the sought Serbians as Nemanja Ristic, who appeared in a photo standing near Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on December 12 during Lavrov's visit to Belgrade.
The Kremlin has denied involvement but has actively supported local political groups that oppose Montenegro, a traditional Slavic ally, joining the Western military alliance.
Montenegro was invited to join the military alliance a year ago, but the decision is yet to be ratified by several member states.
Montenegrin authorities have said they have no evidence that high-level Russian authorities were involved in the anti-NATO plot.
Some 20 people, mostly Serbs and Russians, already are in custody in Montenegro over the alleged scheme.