Largest international military exercise until now to be held in Macedonia this summer on Krivolak

Skopje, 27 December, 2018 - 12:13 (META) 

Until now, the largest international military exercise is to take place in Macedonia called, “Decisive Strike”, and will be held in June and July at the Army Training Ground “Krivolak” and at the Training Center “Pepeliste”. It will be part of the complex exercises of the European Command of the Armed Forces of the United States “Saber Guardian 19” in the Black Sea and the Balkan region.

“It is a large-scale exercise cycle demonstrating the use of a credible collective defense that includes computer-supported exercises, field training, and weapon exercises. It will involve more than tens of thousands of members of the armed forces of at least a dozen NATO members and partner countries, and will take place in the countries of the Black Sea region,” informs the Public Relations Office of the ARM Headquarters General.

The exercise “Decisive Strike” will be the largest international exercise ever to take place in the Republic of Macedonia. Preparations for the plan of activities for the exercise is being prepared by the representatives of the ARM, the armed forces of the United States, Albania, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Lithuania.

“The “Decisive Strike” exercise is already deep in its planning process, which so far together with representatives of the National City of Pennsylvania, the US Army of Europe, the US Department of Defense’s Office at the US Embassy in Macedonia, realized several tests of accommodation capacities and terrain for the realization of the training exercises of AP Krivolak, for a closer understanding of the representatives of the US Army with the capacities and possibilities of the Krivolak Range,” says Lieutenant Colonel Toni Janevski, spokesperson from the ARM Office.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is in Macedonia today

Skopje, 18 December, 2018 - 12:53 (META) 

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan is visiting Skopje today. He will meet with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, which will be followed by a press conference in the Government of Macedonia. He will also be meeting with President Gjorge Ivanov.

Sullivan is the highest State Department official who has been on an official visit to Macedonia since 2001.

According to a statement by the State Department, the US Deputy Secretary of State will discuss regional issues and encourage Macedonian authorities to continue with reforms and the implementation of the Prespa Agreement.

Pompeo: USA supports historic Prespa Agreement

Washington, 14 December, 2018 - 12:19 (META) 

The US supports the historic Prespa Agreement and congratulates the Greek leadership on its achievement, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting in Washington with Alternate Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos.

Katrougalos met with the UN mediator in the name talks Matthew Nimetz yesterday in New York, where they welcomed the efforts made by Athens and Skopje for successfully completing the Prespa Agreement.

In a statement issued by the State Department after the meeting, Pompeo congratulated Katrougalos on Athens no longer needing financial assistance programs and reiterated US support for the economic recovery of Greece. Both agreed that Washington and Athens will continue to work together to promote stability and prosperity in the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be visiting Macedonia

Washington, 12 December, 2018 - 11:42 (META) 

The US Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, will start his European tour today and on Tuesday he will visit Skopje.

He will also visit Bratislava, Vienna, Sofia, Sarajevo and Warsaw.

Sullivan will arrive in Skopje on the 18th of December and he will be the highest ranking Department of State’s official to visit Macedonia since 2001.

According to the announcement issued by the State Department, the Deputy Secretary of State will hold talks in Skopje about regional issues and he will encourage the Macedonian authorities to continue with the reforms and the implementation of the Prespa Agreement.

Sullivan will be meeting with state officials including businessmen and civic organizations.

“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.

USA: Gruevski should serve his jail term in Macedonia

Washington, 15 November, 2018 - 18:44 (META) 

The United States of America believes that convicted MP and former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who is seeking political asylum in Hungary, should serve his jail term at home, said a State Department spokesman for

“After a thorough and transparent legal process, Nikola Gruevski was convicted by Macedonian courts of misuse of office and sentenced to two years in prison. Multiple courts upheld this conviction. In addition, Mr. Gruevski is indicted in four pending criminal cases,” the spokesperson said, adding that “we believe it is appropriate for the Macedonian legal process to proceed and for Mr Gruevski to be held accountable within the Macedonian justice system,” said the State Department spokesman.

Gruevski was sentenced to two years in prison for the “Tank” case led by the SPO for unlawfully influencing officials for the purchase of a luxury Mercedes Benz, worth 600,000 euros, and was set to surrender himself to Shutka prison on November 9 after his appeal was turned down.

In a Facebook post yesterday, he claims to be in Budapest seeking political asylum. Today, the Basic Public Prosecutor’s Office for Prosecuting Organized Crime and Corruption announced that it is investigating how Gruevski fled Macedonia and suspect that officials had assisted him.

New US Ambassador, Kate Byrnes about the disappointment with Ivanov and the occurrences on April 27th

Skopje, 8 November, 2018 - 22:50 (META) 

The new US ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes who was proposed by President Donald Trump and whose appointment will have to be confirmed by the Senate is coming from Athens, where she works as the deputy ambassador, and as the US representative to OSCE in Vienna has already commented on  events and the situation in the country.

In may last year, as the US representative to OSCE, Byrnes said that the US had called on authorities in Macedonia to take steps to ensure the safety of all members of Parliament, to investigate the attacks which occurred in Parliament on the 27th of April thoroughly and to find those responsible for organizing and ordering the attack.

– The United States calls on the authorities of Macedonia to take steps to ensure the security of all members of Parliament, to investigate the attacks thoroughly, and to hold accountable those who committed, organized or ordered acts of violence. The United States strongly condemns the violent attacks on members of Macedonia’s parliament, which followed the election of Talat Xhaferi as Speaker of Parliament. The United States will work with the new Speaker and the parliament to support democracy and help Macedonia move forward on its European path. Violence has no place in the democratic process. We express our deepest sympathies to those members of parliament and others injured in the attacks and their families. As a strategic partner and friend of Macedonia, and with full respect for its sovereignty and unity, the United States calls on all parties to put the interests of Macedonia and its citizens above all else, to work together constructively, and to fully implement all of their commitments under the Przino Agreement. We urge all parties to resolve any differences peacefully and respect Macedonia’s laws and democratic processes”, said Byrnes in her address.

Previously, in March during the same year, Byrnes said that the US were disappointed with Ivanov’s decision not to give the mandate for forming a government to the parliamentary majority.

-The United States was disappointed that President Ivanov declined to offer the opportunity to form a new government to representatives who have a clear parliamentary majority. We believe this action was inconsistent with OSCE commitments, basic democratic principles, and the rule of law, which are core values of this Organization – said Byrnes.

Baily: I wasn’t at the Parliament as I was watching the voting on TV

Skopje, 25 October, 2018 - 10:24 (META) 

After the accusations from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the US Ambassador in Macedonia, Jess Baily, was present at the Parliament during the voting for the initiation of the constitutional changes, yesterday on TV21, he denied these claims, stating that he was watching the voting on TV, from his living room.

-That day I was working in my office, as I was attending an event in by the Embassy that evening and as most of the citizens in Macedonia I watched the voting on my TV from my living room – said Bailey for TV21.

As he said at TV21, the only thing that the US Embassy did was the statement that greeted the voting.

-It is clear that the accusations that the US is illegally involved and have improperly influenced the voting at the Parliament absurd. As we stated, we greeted the voting at the Macedonian Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes and the implementation of the Prespa Agreement – said Baily.

Two days ago, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused that the 8 votes from the opposition were secured by blackmail, threats and bribe.

“The MPs were closed in their offices, the mobile phones were taken away from them, which it seems is in the spirit of the European democratic practices. it should be mentioned that the US Ambassador was at the Parliament by the end of the session, something that puts doubt about who was managing this process” said the press release issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

USA: Russian claims that we interfered in the vote in Parliament are disinformation

Washington, 24 October, 2018 - 12:30 (META) 

The US State Department assessed Russia’s accusations that the United States was involved in the recent vote in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, which gave the green light to start constitutional changes in the country, as unreasonable as an attempt to misinform and propaganda

“Any allegation that representatives of the US Embassy were involved in the voting process in Parliament are unreasonable and false. The United States welcomes the decision of the Macedonian Parliament to begin the constitutional changes necessary for the implementation of the Prespa Agreement with Greece. The United States believes that the Prespa Agreement is a historic opportunity to promote stability, security and prosperity throughout the region, ” said a State Department spokesman at a briefing in Washington answering a Greek journalist’s question, reports ANA-MPA.

The State Department suggests to those who want to explore how Macedonian MPs made their decision to do so in consultation with the MPs themselves, instead of using Russian disinformation and propaganda.

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.