Montenegro leader: Russia wants to destroy EU

Montenegro's former prime minister has called on the European Union to stop Russia's "destructive" influence in the Balkans following what the country says was a thwarted attempt to overthrow its pro-Western government.

Milo Djukanovic, who stepped down after the alleged pro-Russian plot in October to prevent the small Balkan country from joining NATO, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that Moscow "is waging a kind of war against Europe" and is threatening "the very existence of the European Union."

Montenegro's prosecutors have accused Russia and its secret service operatives of plotting the election-day coup attempt that included plans to kill Djukanovic.

The Kremlin has denied involvement in the alleged plot. But it has openly supported and financed nationalist parties opposed to Montenegro's NATO membership.