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PODGORICA, Montenegro – Montenegro's Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic says a general election this weekend will decide whether the small Balkan state will continue on a Western course, or become "a Russian colony."
Djukanovic has told his supporters that the ballot on Sunday is the most important since the vote for independence from much bigger Serbia a decade ago.
Djukanovic said Friday: "Everyone is aware that the fate of the state will be decided ... whether Montenegro will become a member of the EU and NATO, or a Russian colony."
The vote pits Djukanovic's long-ruling Democratic Party of Socialists against a cluster of pro-Russian and pro-Serbian opposition groups which staunchly oppose the country's NATO bid.
Djukanovic has accused the Kremlin of meddling in the election process by secretly financing the opposition parties.