United Russia official Sergei Zheleznyak has confirmed that he invited the leaders of the Montenegrin opposition Democratic Front to Moscow.

Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic have been were invited to a meeting with the leadership of the ruling Russian party, Beta reported on Tuesday. According to the report, one of the topics will be ways to eliminate Russophobia and Serbophobia present in Montenegro.

“Regardless of the fact that the ruling Montenegrin political group and the Western special services are carrying out political and criminal pressure on the leaders of the Montenegrin patriotic opposition, we continue to conduct an open and consistent dialogue with responsible political forces in Montenegro,” Zheleznyak told RIA Novosti.

According to him, this dialogue is aimed at removing “the artificial conflict between Montenegro with Russia and Serbia” and at “overcoming Russophobia and Serbophobia, which has been actively promoted by the Montenegrin authorities in recent years.”

Zheleznyak, who is also a member of the State Duma Committee for International Relations, said that Russian observers watch with disapproval as the Montenegrin regime “cynically and unlawfully drags in special representatives of the United States as a party into the internal political conflict in the country.”

He added that the authorities in Podgorica are trying to drag in NATO as “an instrument of crude pressure on the opposition forces, possibly with the use of force.”

“This approach has extremely dangerous and unpredictable consequences. In order to avoid such a scenario, a balanced approach is necessary of key international and internal forces to the crisis in Montenegro and overcoming of the divide in Montenegrin society,” Zheleznyak said.

The High Court in Podgorica in July seized the passports of Mandic and Knezevic ahead of the start of the trial of those accused of the alleged coup attempt in the fall of last year.

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