Austrian Kurier: Russia Attempts to Sabotage Referendum in Macedonia

The Austrian newspaper Kurier writes about the Russian influence in Macedonia with purpose to sabotage the upcoming referendum and the implementation of the Macedonia-Greece Name Issue Agreement. “Russia sees Macedonia as very important transiting country for delivery of Russian natural gas to Europe, but if the country resolves the name dispute with Greece and as consequence of that becomes a member of NATO, Russia will be one position short when it comes to its influence in the Balkans. In order to sabotage the agreement, Russia provides different kinds of support of the conservative nationalists in, what is to be called in future, Republic of North Macedonia, as well as to those of similar affiliations in Greece. Russia uses ‘soft power’ via ethnic and religious similarities with Slavs in the Balkans, as well as Orthodox Christians in Greece, after they learned their lesson with the similar situation when Montenegro became a NATO member, destroying the Russian chances for establishing a military base in Balkan waters,” writes Kurier.

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