Europe

Montenegro says Russia banned its wine over NATO accession

Montenegro's prime minister says Russia has banned the import of its best-known wine because of the Balkan country's decision to become a member of NATO.

Dusko Markovic said in a statement Thursday that Russian authorities reported finding pesticides and plastic in wine and other products made by the Plantaze company.

Markovic described the claims as "completely ridiculous." He has insisted that the decision is political and tied to the expected approval in the Montenegrin parliament Friday of the accession treaty with NATO.

Russia has strongly opposed the idea of Montenegro in NATO. The small Balkan country has been a traditional ally in the region where Moscow seeks to maintain influence.

Montenegro has accused Russia of staging a foiled coup attempt in October to derail the NATO bid.