Pro-Russian opposition in Montenegro plans NATO referendum

Montenegro's main opposition party says it will organize a referendum on the country's membership in NATO, with the support of Russia.

The Democratic Front said Monday it will organize a "people's referendum" if the ruling majority keeps on insisting the membership decision should be made in parliament.

The party's leader, Andrija Mandic, says the popular referendum has the support of the Kremlin.

Montenegrin authorities say Russian nationalists were behind an alleged coup attempt in October that included plans to assassinate the pro-Western then-prime minister because of his government's bid to join NATO.

The Kremlin has denied involvement, but has actively supported local groups that oppose having the traditional Slavic ally become the 29th member of the Western military alliance. Montenegro is expected to wrap up the membership process in the spring.