The West, as before, is trying to drag Macedonia into NATO, even after the referendum on the name change, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a weekly briefing in Moscow.

Zakharova said that “the obvious goal of the Western countries is to bring Macedonia into NATO at any cost”.

According to Zakharova, Russia’s position remains principled and unchanged, and that it is a long-term solution to the problem that the countries themselves can come to, without interference and pressure from the outside, because it turned out that this does not work.

“If we are talking about non-interference in internal affairs, then we must not agitate “for” or “against” if we talk about referendums. If we talk about non-interference in the internal affairs and respect of the law, including international ones, then the head of a bloc of states must not speak about a decision that should be passed by the Parliament of a country,” said the spokeswoman for the Russian MFA.

She also said she was surprised by the findings of the OSCE commission, which monitored the referendum in Macedonia.

“The great propaganda campaign by the West is presented in a positive way. It’s not normal. What would happen if it was Moscow urging the Macedonians to vote? It would immediately be understood as interfering in the interior affairs of a country. These are not just double standards, but abuse of social rules and norms,” added Zakharova.