The Russian Embassy in Macedonia on Tuesday July 17th denied the Macedonian prime minister’s allegation that Moscow is involved in public protests against an agreement with Greece that would enable the former Yugoslav republic to join Nato.
In a statement, the embassy described Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s claim that Russia-based businessmen were used to channel money to protest groups in Macedonia as “unfounded”.
As reported by AP, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is set to hold an autumn referendum on the deal, which is intended to solve a long dispute with neighbour Greece over rights to the Macedonia name.
Under the agreement, Macedonia would be renamed North Macedonia and Greece would withdraw its objections to the republic joining Nato and the European Union.
Zaev made the allegations against Russia in an interview last week with the internet media company BuzzFeed. He said at a news conference on Tuesday that he was commenting on reports he received from security services but did not elaborate.
He said, “We are a small country and we wish to have good relations with all countries. Good relations with the Russian Federation is a priority for us.”
The prime minister continued: "But the Russian Federation should know that the Republic of Macedonia has no alternative other than to seek membership (of Nato and the European Union)."