Zaev: We want to build friendship with Russia

We have no evidence and arguments that Russia has any influence in regard to the referendum. It is true that it is not happy about the NATO enlargement in Macedonia, but it is not against EU accession of entire Western Balkans, PM Zoran Zaev told reporters after Tuesday’s meeting with EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

Zaev once again reiterated that the citizens of Macedonia have no alternative other than EU and NATO and expressed hopes that all friends of Macedonia will enable citizens on September 30 to freely vote and to use their democratic right without allowing any outside influences, because this is a historic decision which we must make ourselves.

“The facts say that we have no evidence and arguments that Russia has any influence in regard to the referendum. It is also true that Russia is not happy about the NATO enlargement in Macedonia. It has nothing against EU accession of entire Western Balkans, but it is generally opposing NATO enlargement with Macedonia, and it is even publicly commented. I will once again say that there is no alternative for the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia then integration into NATO and EU. We want to build friendship with all countries, including Russia. We have a lot to improve in our cooperation,” Zaev said.