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Moscow blasts ‘heavy-handed’ Western meddling to drag Macedonia into NATO, EU

In late September, Macedonia's name change referendum was declared void

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Western countries are aiming to drag Macedonia into NATO even after a referendum on changing the country’s name was held there, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters on Thursday.

The diplomat recalled that on September 30, Macedonia held a referendum on changing its name, which has been declared invalid. "Despite the fact that leading politicians in the EU and NATO member-states openly urged Macedonian citizens to vote in favor [of changing its name], which, we believe is a totally unacceptable practice, all this ended in failure," Zakharova pointed out. "However, they welcomed its results without batting an eyelid. In particular, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg promised to grant Skopje membership in the alliance as early as the beginning of 2019, leaving no doubt that the parliaments of Macedonia and Greece would pass the required decisions.”

"The continuation of heavy-handed outside interference in Macedonia’s internal affairs is evident," the diplomat stressed. "The goal is obvious - to drag Skopje into the alliance at any cost."