FYROM president calls name change deal ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’


The president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is criticizing top US and EU officials for backing a referendum on changing his country's name.

President Gjorge Ivanov urged his compatriots not to vote on Sunday, calling the name change a “noose” and a “flagrant violation of sovereignty.”

He criticized US and EU officials who have visited FYROM in recent weeks for suggesting that the name change offers FYROM’s only hope of ever join NATO and the EU.

“If you take our hope, what will we be left with?” he asked. US and Europe officials have accused Russia of interfering against the name change.

The referendum is on a deal with Greece that would rename their country “North Macedonia” and resolve a long-running dispute over use of the term “Macedonia.”

Ivanov spoke Thursday at the UN General Assembly. [AP]