Russia is worried to see the ongoing disturbances in Macedonia, which are being stoked from the outside, and the Macedonia prime minister is being pressed on, among other things, for refusing to join the anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
"This really alarms us," Lavrov said in talking to Russian Federation Council members on May 20.
"The events in Macedonia are being orchestrated from the outside quite blatantly. Attempts are being made to accuse the government led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of incompetence and unwillingness to meet its obligations to the population, and he's also been blamed for a lot of other things," Lavrov said.
The true reason for which the Macedonian prime minister is being pressed on is his refusal to join the anti-Russian sanctions, he said.
"Standing behind all this is the desire to affect him [the Macedonian prime minister] because of his refusal to join the sanctions against Russia. Such pressure has been applied to him, we know this for sure, and attempts have also been made to influence him for the fact that he had earlier supported the South Stream, actively counted on it in Macedonia's interests, and has expressed willingness now to cooperate in pursuing other options to supply energy resources from Russia to the south of Europe, including the so-called Turkish Stream option," he said.
Russia is alarmed that, in order to put pressure on the Macedonian government, the Albanian factor is being engaged; in particular, speculation is under way on even more substantial federalization of Macedonia, he said.
"It's been suggested now that Macedonia needs to be federalized even deeper, so as to turn into a flexible federation or perhaps a confederation, and ideas have even been aired as to why not dismember it as an artificial state, with part of it going to Bulgaria and another part to Albania," Lavrov said.
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