Russia has directed heavy accusations towards the United States for manipulating the vote that held in the Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) last week, to ratify the Prespes agreement and the change of the nation’s name.
The Russian foreign ministry released a statement on Monday, pointing out that some of the voters had been bribed: “The US Ambassador (in FYROM) was in the Parliament building up to the end of the session, and this is why there is no doubt that he orchestrated the entire process,” the statement reads.
According to Russia, underhanded methods were used in order to get members to vote, such as “blackmail, and threatening and bribing opposition deputies. We view what happened as an open violation of all norms, both from a legal and moral point of view. Such dirty manipulations cannot be regarded as an expression of parliamentarians’ will.”
However, FYROM has rejected the accusation pointed toward the US, stating that it was “a political process of historical significance for Macedonia and its citizens”.
Furthermore, a US State Department representative denied the claims made by Russia on Tuesday, as it was pointed out that the States are all in favour of an agreement that will finally easy tensions within the area.
The main reason behind Russia’s efforts to make the vote unofficial is that it opens the way for FYROM to become a member of NATO, an event that Moscow wishes to avoid.
In the meantime, Alexis Tsipras is attempting to diffuse the flames lit by the resignation of former minister of foreign affairs Nikos Kotzias and the tensions between him and defence minister Panos Kammenos, especially with the Prespes agreement so close to being finalised.
Kammenos, who is the leader of the junior Coalition party ANEL (Independent Greeks), has been under pressure by many MPs to leave the government, to which he has replied that he will do so once the deal comes to the Hellenic Parliament for a vote.
Some members strongly criticised his stance, not least among them ANEL MP and deputy foreign minister Terence Quick, however that doesn’t seem to make Kammenos think about changing his stance. “I take the responsibility and I promise you that these guys will have no position in ANEL,” said Kammenos in a statement pointed towards the members of his party that opposed his position.