Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova's response to a media question regarding the Bloomberg article accusing Russia of interfering in the internal affairs of Macedonia
Question: What do you think about the provocative Bloomberg article accusing Russia of interfering in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia?
Maria Zakharova: We took note of the material published by Bloomberg and widely cited by the Balkan media about Russia’s alleged interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia. Misleading references were made to an interview by the Defence Minister of that country, Radmila Sekerinska, the text of which Bloomberg chose not to make public. Given that Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabic was the target of a similar provocation by this agency in July, we urge Bloomberg to publish the full text or audio/video recording of the interview by Radmila Sekerinska.
To underscore, accusations that Russia interfered in the internal affairs of Macedonia are completely fabricated and based solely on unsubstantiated accusations on the part of Russophobes, as well as their false stories. We consider these insinuations as attempts by the enemies of Russia and Macedonia to complicate the traditionally friendly ties between our countries, to distract the attention of the Macedonian citizens from real threats to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their country, including, among other things, the policy aimed at drawing Skopje into NATO at any cost, without regard for its core national interests.
Given the reasonable doubts about Bloomberg's good faith, we are expecting to hear clarifications by the Macedonian side regarding the authenticity of the remarks ascribed to Ms Sekerinska, which have not been disavowed and were even posted on the website of the Defence Ministry of Macedonia. Such statements are in stark contrast with the assurances of official Skopje about the desire of the Government of Macedonia to promote constructive and mutually beneficial relations with Russia, and to expand Russia-Macedonia cooperation.