Moscow on Monday criticized a deal to resolve the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as a western plot to draw the Balkan country into the NATO security alliance.
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 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 artificially 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 as well as the majority of the country’s population were against the agreement.
The Russian ministry said that the manner in which the agreement was reached cannot guarantee a long-term settlement of a problem that is key to the country’s future, adding that Moscow plans to refer the issue to the UN Security Council.
The ministry said that recent political developments in Greece had confirmed the fallout on regional stability and security. On Sunday, Greece’s junior coalition partner Panos Kammenos withdrew his party’s support from the government over the deal.