Speaking to ITV’s Robert Peston on Sunday morning, the British foreign secretary said there was “plenty of evidence Russians are capable of all sorts of dirty tricks, [including in] Montenegro an attempted coup and possibly an attempted assassination.”
The report said the U.S. and U.K. possessed evidence the plot involved Russian secret services and had received Moscow’s government’s blessing.
At the time, Montenegro’s chief special prosecutor Milivoje Katnic alleged Russian nationalists were planning to break into parliament on election day in 2016, assassinate Djukanovic and bring a pro-Russia coalition to power. Montenegrin authorities never directly implicated Vladimir Putin’s government.
According to media reports, Djukanović decided to step down last year after learning about the attempt to take his life. He was replaced by his deputy Dusko Markovic at the end of November.
Johnson added there is “evidence Russia is perfectly capable of hacking into U.K. politics” but said there is no evidence someone is currently trying to “undermine the democratic process [in Britian].”
The U.K. foreign secretary’s remarks come just days before his planned trip to Moscow where he is scheduled to meet his counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Asked what message he is planning to convey to the Kremlin, Johnson said: “My personal feeling is one of deep, deep sadness.”