Zaev: No evidence of Russian interference in referendum


The Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Zoran Zaev said on Monday he had no evidence that Russia has tried to interfere in the country's referendum, slated for September 30.

“I have no evidence of any Russian influence in Macedonia. The Russian Federation is a friend of the Republic of Macedonia and it does not stand in the way of Macedonia’s accession to the EU,” he was quoted as saying by news website European Western Balkans, during the “EU-Western Balkans Media Days” conference.

“However, it is openly opposed against its accession to NATO. If there is any evidence of interference by using fake news I will publicly share them,” he added.

Zaev was indirectly responding to comments by visiting US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who warned that Russia was attempting to sway public opinion in the country by spreading disinformation.

FYROM will vote on whether to accept a deal signed with Greece last June to change its name to “Republic of North Macedonia,” which would open the way for it to join NATO and the European Union.