Vitaly Churkin, the diplomat who brought the decree that Russia recognizes Macedonia


The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who died suddenly yesterday in New York, in 1992 was a representative of Moscow who brought the official decree with which the Russian Federation officially recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name.

At that time, from June 1992 to October 1994, Churkin was then the Russian Deputy to Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev. According to sources, Kozyrev had just a few months earlier, sent an official note of recognition in Skopje, but in the end, the task fell upon Churkin.

Namely, in 1992 Kozyrev as Foreign Minister, found himself under pressure from the Greek and Serbian Foreign Ministries about the official recognition of Macedonia. Despite the pressure, he visited Macedonia in 1992, it was then state officials related that Moscow had decided to recognize Macedonia and he had stated that as soon as he arrives in Moscow he would send the note of recognition. However, after several months, the note had still not arrived in Skopje.

The turning point came after the official visit of the then Russian President, Boris Yeltsin to Sofia, and after the meeting with Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev. President Zhelyu Zhelev persuaded Yeltsin that it was time to recognize Macedonia. Reportedly, the Russian President, made the decision in Bulgaria and signed the decree on the recognition of Macedonia while on a plane to Moscow.

On August the 5th, the Russian deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Churkin, arrived in Skopje with the official papers that Russia recognizes Macedonia under its constitutional name, and handed them to the then Macedonian Foreign Minister, Denko Maleski.

“The Russian delegation called me, who at the time were visiting Sofia, and apparently, so was Churkin, and I was told that Macedonia was to receive a senior Russian diplomat with an important message. Nobody knew what was in the message. Churkin arrived in Skopje by car, on the afternoon of August 5. We had a meeting at Villa Vodno, where I was handed the decree that Russia recognizes Macedonia under its constitutional name. The meeting was pleasant and we talked about events in Yugoslavia and how Macedonia could avoid conflict and not be drawn into what was happening there”, said former Foreign Minister and university professor Denko Maleski for “Meta”.


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