Montenegro said Wednesday that a decision by Russia to ban imports from its biggest winemaker was politically motivated by the Balkan country’s imminent accession to NATO.
According to state-owned wine producer Plantaze, Russian authorities have banned the import of its alcohol from Wednesday owing to sanitary failings — accusations the company denied.
“It is clear that the decision is in the context of NATO membership,” said Montenegro’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic.
He said Russian citizens had “lost an opportunity to consume the best wines” owing to the “irresponsible policy” of their authorities.
Montenegro is expected to become a member of NATO later this year and its parliament will meet on Friday to approve the accession.
Russia has expressed strong opposition to the move, describing Montenegro’s membership of the Western military alliance as “deeply erroneous”.
The 620,000 citizens of Montenegro, on the Adriatic Sea, are mostly Orthodox Slavs and Moscow has long considered the country to be …