Comment by the Information and Press Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry on the results of the referendum held in the Republic of Macedonia

Submitted on Mon, 10/01/2018 - 16:14

On 30 September the Republic of Macedonia held a referendum on the acceptability of the Prespa Agreement on renaming the Balkan republic as “Northern Macedonia”. The turnout rate of 36.8% does not allow the plebiscite to be recognised as legally valid (a 50% threshold is required) and explicitly demonstrates that Macedonian voters opted for boycotting the decisions that are being imposed on Skopje and Athens from outside – leading politicians from EU and NATO states directly took part in the propaganda campaign, meddling without scruple in the internal affairs of the Balkan country.

Despite the fact that two thirds of the population of Macedonia did not support the Prespa Agreement, leaders of the EU and NATO, as well as Washington immediately welcomed the voting results. There is an evident desire to draw Skopje into NATO at an accelerated pace regardless of the opinion of the Macedonian people.

Our principled stance remains unchanged: it is only up to the parties to find a long-lasting solution, without outside interference, within the legal framework and with wide support of the society. It is obvious that the Prespa Agreement does not meet the criteria. It runs counter to international law and the Macedonian Constitution, as highlighted repeatedly by President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, including in his speech delivered at the UN General Assembly.

Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is closely following the developments. We proceed from the fact that pursuant to point 3 of UNSC Resolution 845 the results of the talks between Skopje and Athens are to be considered at the UN Security Council.