The Greek Foreign Ministry has dismissed Moscow’s criticism of the deal to resolve the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as tantamount to meddling in Greece’s affairs.
In a statement earlier Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the deal was a Western plot to draw the Balkan country into the NATO security alliance.
In response, the Greek Foreign Ministry said the Russian Foreign Ministry’s decision to cite political developments in countries which enjoy friendly relations with Moscow is “incompatible” with Greek-Russian bilateral ties and the long-standing bonds of friendship between the two peoples.
The ministry went on to say that legitimate concerns are raised as the Russian Foreign Ministry statement overlooks the democratic functioning of institutions in Greece, whose constitution has clear provisions for dealing with anything that impacts the country’s internal political order.
Last week, FYROM lawmakers ratified the deal under which the country will be renamed “Republic of North Macedonia.” The deal, which has met with fierce opposition in both countries, also needs to be ratified by the Greek Parliament.
“The decision by Macedonia’s Parliament, which voted in favor of changing the country’s name, has been imposed from outside and does not reflect the will of the people,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“It is clear that there is an ongoing process imposed from outside which is aimed at changing the country’s name in an artificial way with the ultimate goal of forcefully inducting Skopje into NATO. This is taking place in violation of Macedonian law,” the ministry said, adding that FYROM President Gjorge Ivanov and the majority of the country’s population were against the agreement.
Moscow plans to refer the issue to the United Nations Security Council.