Russian president Putin has criticized the name deal between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), suggesting it is part of a campaign to increase western influence in the Balkan region.
In an interview with Serbia’s Vecernje Novosti newspaper Tuesday ahead of his scheduled visit to the country later this week, Putin said that the Prespa accord had been enforced from outside against popular will. He added that it was part of a bid to draw the country into the NATO military alliance.
In the same interview, the Russian president said the United States was destabilizing the Balkan peninsula by “asserting their dominant role” in the region.
Also on Tuesday, Moscow dismissed Greece’s accusation that it was meddling in its internal affairs, while insisting it will express its opinion about the Prespa Agreement to the United Nations Security Council.
“We are in no way meddling in Greece’s internal affairs, but Russia will be expressing its point of view on the issues within the competence of the U.N. Security Council,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko.