MOSCOW/PODGORICA (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday rejected "irresponsible" allegations by Montenegro that Russia was involved in a plot to assassinate its prime minister.
Montenegrin Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic on Sunday accused Moscow of involvement in the alleged conspiracy last October, which he said was aimed at bringing an opposition figure to power and halting the integration of the former Yugoslav republic into NATO.
"Now we know that Russia's state institutions were involved," he told independent Prva TV. "It is up to Russian state institutions to investigate this."
The Kremlin dismissed Katnic's allegations as absurd and denied interfering in Montenegro's internal affairs.
"These words are too serious ... and failing to support them with reliable information is irresponsible to say the least," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
On Oct. 16, the same day Montenegrins voted in a parliamentary election, authorities arrested 20 people from neighboring Serbia on charges of planning armed attacks against the state.
Opposition parties accused Djukanovic and his allies of fabricating the plot to extend his grip on power over the small Adriatic republic, NATO's newest member.
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic in MOSCOW and Petar Komnenic in PODGORICA; Editing by Alexander Winning and Mark Trevelyan)