Kommersant sources said that Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev's Oct. 25 surprise visit to Serbia was tied to the earlier deportation of Russian citizens, according to an Oct. 28 report. The Serbian government detained and deported several Russian nationals on an unspecified date for allegedly plotting attacks in neighboring Montenegro, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic announced Oct. 24, Danas reported. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Oct. 28 that Russia had no prior knowledge of the plot. Patrushev met with Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic and other top officials during his visit.
Vucic said that the detainees were preparing a coup in Montenegro meant to coincide with Oct. 16 parliamentary elections. He added that another group of people were monitoring the daily movements of then Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic. Dukanovic resigned hours after suggesting that Russia was involved in the alleged coup attempt on the country's election day and accusing the opposition of collaborating with the Kremlin. The announcement led to protests by Serbian lawmakers, who demanded Vucic provide more details on the suspects.