Comment by the Information and Press Department on the results of Macedonia’s referendum
On September 30, the Republic of Macedonia held a referendum on the Prespa Agreement, which stipulates changing the country’s name to North Macedonia. The 36.8 percent turnout means that the referendum cannot be recognised as valid (the turnout must be at least 50 percent). It clearly indicates that Macedonian voters chose to boycott the solutions imposed on Skopje and Athens externally – as the leading politicians from NATO and EU member states participated in this large-scale propaganda campaign directly, freely interfering in the internal affairs of this Balkan state.
Despite the fact that two thirds of Macedonia’s population did not vote in favour of the Prespa Agreement, the results of the vote were instantly hailed by the EU and NATO leaders, and in Washington as well. The desire to ensure and speed up Skopje’s accession to NATO despite the will of the people of Macedonia is evident.
Our principaled position remains the same: a long-term solution can only be agreed upon by the two parties on their own, without any external interference, and only within the framework of the law and with broad public support. The Prespa Agreement clearly fails to meet these criteria. It is inconsistent with the international law and the Constitution of Macedonia, which was repeatedly emphasised by the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, including from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia is closely monitoring the development of this situation. We proceed from the fact that according to paragraph 3 of the UN Security Council Resolution 845, the results of the talks between Skopje and Athens will be considered at the UN Security Council.