Russian deputy prime minister barred from Montenegro

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Russian deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has been barred from entering Montenegro, which is facing strong pressure from the Kremlin for its plans to join NATO.

Montenegro's foreign ministry said Thursday that Rogozin is among some 50 Russian politicians and businesspeople who are not allowed to travel to the small Balkan country.

Montenegro, a traditional Russian ally that now wants to join the EU and NATO, has adopted Western sanctions against Moscow for its role in the Ukrainian crisis.

Rogozin, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, recently said Montenegro would "regret" joining the Western military alliance which in December issued a formal membership invitation.

Rogozin has been invited to Montenegro by pro-Russian parties that have been staging anti-government and anti-NATO demonstrations that have sometimes turned violent.