Lavrov accused the EU and the US for interference in Macedonia’s internal affairs

Moscow, 7 December, 2018 - 12:22 (META) 

There is a rough systematic interference by the US and the EU in the internal affairs of Macedonia. On a daily basis, its citizens were asked to vote in favor of the Prespa Agreement in the referendum on 30 September this year. The referendum, as it is known, failed. In this situation in the House on 19 October, with the extortion and bribery of parliamentarians, constitutional changes were imposed, with the direct involvement of foreign diplomats, including the US ambassador there, accuses Sergej Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs in an interview for the Greek newspaper “Efemerida ton sindakton”.

In the interview that was published on the day when the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is on an official visit to Moscow, Lavrov is using the word Macedonia, that the Greek newspaper has marked with a symbol and in the footnote, it explained that Greece recognizes this country as the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia.

The Head of the Russian diplomacy says that the pressures in Macedonia are continuing even now, with an effort to get the process in its final form in early 2019.

– It is noteworthy that such study serves the sole purpose of Washington for the urgent incorporation of Skopje into NATO. The scorn that the acceptance of the Prespa Agreement is supposedly necessary to speed up the European course can not stand any criticism. Consultations with Brussels on this subject can last, as experience says, a few decades – said Lavrov.

Palmer: Macedonia could become a NATO member by 2020

Sarajevo, 5 December, 2018 - 13:04 (META) 

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, Matthew Palmer said in Sarajevo yesterday that Macedonia could join NATO by mid-2020 if it implemented the Prespa Agreement and therefore resolved the decades-long dispute with Greece.

According to him, Macedonia could become the 30th NATO member “as early as 18 months”.

“It’s a realistic goal,” Palmer said.

The same message – the implementation of the Prespa Agreement, and then membership- but without specifying time-frames, was also stated by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg yesterday before a meeting of ministers from member states of the North Atlantic Alliance, held in Brussels.

Today’s agenda is the Western Balkans.

Palmer expressed concern regarding Russia’s, as he says, “strong influence” in the Western Balkan region, which includes “undermining the efforts of the Government and the institutions of Macedonia for EU and NATO integration”.

“It is not Russia’s decision to decide what Macedonia can or can not do with the way of its integration into European and Euro-Atlantic institutions. Efforts to undermine the expressed will of the Macedonia people are destabilizing and harming peace and security in the region,” added Palmer.

Tzipras to Pahor: From now on Slovenia should call our neighbor “North Macedonia”

Athens, 4 December, 2018 - 18:26 (META) 

At today’s meeting at the presidential palace in Athens with the Slovenian President Borut Pahor, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed his satisfaction that the plan for constitutional changes at his northern neighbors is progressing rapidly.

At the same time, Tsipras lobbied at the Slovenian statesman that “the country that he now addresses with its constitutional name i.e. as Macedonia in the future will have to address as “North Macedonia.”

Tsipras has said that in the Balkans with its initiatives it has been working on the improvement of the cooperation, but most important is the agreement signed with FYROM in 2018, informs the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini.

-It means that you and Slovenia, which is one of the countries that recognize our neighbors under their constitutional name i.e. Macedonia from this moment on you will address it as North Macedonia because that is very important for the Greek nation because Macedonia apart from being a big geographic area in Greece, a region in Greece, is also an important part of the ancient Greek history, and that is recognized with this agreement, for which I hope is with an evened approval from both sides – Tsipras told the Slovenian president.

MFA hand Hungary protest note over Gruevski’s escape

Skopje, 20 November, 2018 - 12:53 (META) 

The foreign ministry sent a “protest note” to Hungary after convicted former prime minister Nikola Gruevski fled to Budapest and claimed asylum.

Hungarian ambassador Laszlo Duks was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to meet with State Secretary Viktor Dimovski.

“The purpose of the meeting was to hand over a protest note from Macedonia to the Hungarian side, on the occasion of the latest information related to Nikola Gruevski’s escape and his asylum claim in Hungary,” the Foreign Ministry said.

They informed that at the meeting, Hungarian ambassador Duks was told that Hungary should act in the spirit of good bilateral relations, European values ​​and principles related to the rule of law.

“In that context, immediately and without delay, we hope that Hungary will reject the claim for asylum status for convicted and fugitive from justice Nikola Gruevski and will hand him over to the Republic of Macedonia for the purpose of executing the pronounced prison sentence, as well as the continuation and termination of other court proceedings against him, “State Secretary Dimovski told Ambassador Duks.

“Politika”: Gruevski raises tensions between America and Russia

Belgrade, 19 November, 2018 - 15:24 (META) 

While it has been formally claimed that fugitive Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is in Budapest, some articles speculate that he had traveled to Russia or Turkey, reported Serbian pro-government daily newspaper “Politika”. The article points out that both Russia and Turkey maintain diplomatic relations with Skopje, but have clashed over pro-Western policies pursued by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Under the headline “Gruevski raises tensions between America and Russia,” the oldest daily newspaper in Serbia writes that “Russia will never accept Macedonia’s accession to NATO, and Turkey is not happy that Macedonia succumbed to the Greek demands for a change of the country’s name.” “Politika” also believes that Zaev will need “a lot, not just political, but also legal evidence, to explain to the people and the international community, especially to the East, that Gruevski is not a political victim of American red rule in Skopje, as VMRO-DPMNE claims, but rather that he escaped because he was going to prison.”

“At the moment, Zaev is the only optimist and believes that Gruevski will be returned to Macedonia. The question remains, if he really is in Russia, how Zaev will reach him, and if he is in Budapest, then Prime Minister Viktor Orban is most definitely in a awkward situation politically with respect to Russia, and legally and politically in relation to the EU,” concludes”Politika”.

Regardless of what is written in this newspaper, Gruevski was sentenced to two years in the “Tank” case. The hearings were open to the public and the media reported throughout the trial.

His lawyers attempted to appeal the final verdict, unsuccessfully, because the Court of Appeal upheld the verdict. Then a ruling was issued for Gruevski to surrender himself to prison, Gruevski filed a motion to postpone the serving of the sentence, but that too was denied it. Gruevski then disappeared.

Osmani – Hahn: Macedonia will manage to achieve EC 2025 agenda

Brussels, 13 November, 2018 - 13:57 (META) 

Macedonia will successfully become part of the strategy of the enlargement commission with the Western Balkan countries and will achieve the 2025 Agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani told EU Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn at today’s meeting in Brussels, stated the Secretariat for European Affairs.

“Plan 18 has already been adopted by the Government and its implementation, for now, is going smoothly. I expect to address all key areas in a timely manner and create conditions for confirmation of the decision to start negotiations. Parliament gave the first green light for constitutional changes in accordance with the Prespa Agreement, which not only opened the way for the implementation of the obligations under the Agreement, but also created conditions for accelerating the reform process of the country in accordance with the conclusions of the European Council from June,” Osmani said at the meeting.

He pointed out that relations between Macedonia and Greece are improving at an speedy pace, recalling the renewal of airline flights between Athens and Skopje after a 10-year pause.

Osmani informed Hahn about the progress in the preparation of the negotiating structure for the start of negotiations, stressing that the government is working to include it in the process, both the civil sector and the academic community.

Russian news agency “Sputnik” calls country “N. Macedonia”

Skopje, 24 October, 2018 - 15:56 (META) 

Russian news agency “Sputnik News”, formerly known as “RIA Novosti” and “Voice of Russia”, has already renamed the Republic of Macedonia to North Macedonia.

Under the headline “Greece, N. Macedonia have “started talking” despite “identity conflict”, the Russian agency that is part of the government’s media consortium “Rossiya Segodnya”, published an interview with Professor Neophytos Loizides from the University of Kent, UK, on Monday regarding the latest developments in the deal with Greece and the decades-long dispute between both countries, and called the country “N. Macedonia” in the headline.

Given the fact that it is a state news agency, which is directly under the head of the Russian government, the renaming could be understood as a signal of official Russian policy, that the constitutional changes in Macedonian Parliament are already ready in place, and Macedonia will accept the name North Macedonia, as the main segment of the Prespa Accord.

Matthew Palmer to visit Macedonia on Monday

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 13:07 (META) 

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer is scheduled to pay a visit to the Republic of Macedonia on Monday, announced the US Embassy via their social networks.

“Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Palmer will arrive in Macedonia on Monday, October 22, to discuss US support for the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece, and the importance of continuing Macedonia’s reform agenda. He will meet representatives of the Government and political parties, including Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov,” the Embassy said.

Stoltenberg in Belgrade: NATO will accept Macedonia as soon as it adopts agreement with Greece

Belgrade, 8 October, 2018 - 16:22 (META) 

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated today that the implementation of the name agreement with Greece is the only way to Macedonia’s NATO membership, and that there is no other way or plan B for the country’s admission to the military alliance.

“NATO is ready to accept Macedonia as the 30th member very soon after the implementation of the name agreement, but it is up to the citizens of Macedonia and its democratic institutions whether they will do it or not. We are ready. There is no plan B or an alternative to accession without the name agreement,” said Stoltenberg in a joint address to reporters with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic after the opening of emergency rescue exercises “Serbia 2018” in Belgrade.

Stoltenberg said that NATO fully respects the war neutrality of Serbia and again regrets what he said about innocent victims of the 1999 bombing.

“We can not forget the past, but we can go further into the future,” Stoltenberg said, adding that partnership will benefit both Serbia and NATO.

Vucic said that Serbia is militarily neutral and that it will “jealously guard it”, but that it will not prevent it from having good cooperation with NATO.

Samaras: We gave them everything and everyone will call them Macedonians

Thessaloniki, 8 October, 2018 - 12:55 (META) 

We will not let them sell our Macedonia. I always supported the idea that we cannot give to Skopje the name Macedonia because simply put, from that moment on, everyone will begin officially addressing them not as Northmacedonians, Uppermacedonians, but only as Macedonians, said the former Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, during his speech in front of the members of the Kavala Chamber of Commerce, at the official opening of the trading and business fair, said MIA’s correspondent.

He stressed that all future governments should reject the Prespa Agreement.

-With the Prespa Agreement, the Greek side officially gives Skopje the name Macedonia and a recognition of the nationality – alleged Macedonians and the recognition of the Macedonian language and recognition of the Macedonian identity. They gave them everything. Despite the real disagreements that existed in the past regarding the managing of the issue with different governments, no Greek politician ever accepted to recognize the Macedonian nation, language, and identity. No one – said Samaras.

As reports MIA’s correspondent from Athens, the former Greek Prime Minister, now a New Democracy MP, stresses that the opposition party, “as was announced by its party leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis will not vote for ratification, neither as a government nor as an opposition” and said that all next Greek governments will have to be released from the obligations stated in the Prespa Agreement.