IBNA Special Report
Skopje, September 17, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Naser Pajaziti
Authorities in Skopje have been reserved as far as the sanctions of the European Union against Russia are concerned.
This position comes as a result of the negligence of the country in the aspect of European integration and conditioning with the solution of the name dispute. Albania, Montenegro and other southeast European countries back EU’s sanctions against Russia, but this has not been done by Serbia. FYR Macedonia, on the other hand, has not taken a clear position on this matter.
Two days ago, Foreign Minister, Nikola Popovski, declared during a meeting with his Serb counterpart, Ivica Dacic, that FYROM was reserved toward the EU’s sanctions against Russia.
He said that their principle is for international justice to be respected the same in different matters, such as it’s the case of the name dispute and the failure of Greece to comply with International Court of Justice ruling for the withdrawal of the blockade on FYROM in the aspect of European integration, unless the name dispute is resolved.
“We know that a NATO and EU member country has seriously violated international law and this has been proven by the International Court of Justice. This has made the request addressed to Macedonia to comply with international law a real problem|, declared Nikola Popovski.
Professor of international law, Zoran Savevski says that Skopje is being reserved in order to hold a grudge against Brussels, as a result of the delays in the process of accession, on the pretext of the name dispute and the Greek blockade.
“These positions aim at preparing the public opinion in Macedonia for the reorientation of the government as far as the EU and Russia are concerned, meaning that there’s no sufficient engagement for integration in the EU and that other solutions may be found in reorientating the country toward Russia and China”, said the expert of international issues, Zdravko Savevski.
Professor of the State University of Tetovo, Bekim Kadriu told IBNA that three are the reasons why FYROM must back the EU sanctions against Russia.
“First of all, it’s a candidate member. Secondly, it has a declared strategic alliance with the USA and thirdly, in this case, Russia has made violations of international law”, says Bekim Kadriu.
Dejan Besliev, executive director of the Russian-Macedonian Chamber of Commerce, says that Russia must be seen as a strategic partner and the country must open its doors for Russian investments.
According to him, EU sanctions against Russia do not affect the economic cooperation between Russia and FYROM.
“We believe that this situation must not have an impact in our cooperation. Our country is not an EU member and as a state, we’re not obliged to back these sanctions. But, we must look after our interests”, said Besliev, adding that more efforts must be made in order to attract other Russian investments.
As of last week, the EU applied other sanctions against Russian companies of oil, energy, banks, but also individual sanctions against 24 state and political personalities in Russia.
German chancellor, Angela Merkel, demanded support in the last meeting held with state leaders of West Balkan countries for the sanctions applied against Russia.
Skopje and Moscow celebrated this year the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and on this occasion, Macedonian authorities organized a grand ceremony.
FYROM has signed an agreement for its involvement in the Russian Gazprom pipeline network. So far, the biggest Russian investment in the country has been made by the oil company, Lukoi. The annual trade between the two countries amounts to 160 million USD. /ibna/