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Zaev claims “Greek businessmen” fund violent protests in FYROM against Macedonia deal

FYROM prime minister Zoran Zaev claimed that Greek pro-Russian businessmen pay for “violent protests” in his country with the aim to influence Referendum voters over the Macedonia agreement. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Zaev claimed further that the aim of these actions is to stop his country from joining NATO by paying for violent protests.

Zoran Zaev said his government has received multiple reports that “Greek businessmen” who are “sympathetic to the Russian cause” paid Macedonians amounts ranging from $13,000 to $21,000 to “commit acts of violence” ahead of a crucial referendum later this year that will determine whether the Balkan state will be able to join the military alliance.

Zaev made the allegations during an interview in the Macedonian capital Skopje, having just returned from the NATO summit in Brussels last week, where Macedonia was officially invited to move toward NATO membership.

During the summit, Zaev said he privately asked for help with the referendum from US President Donald Trump, who is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday amid growing allegations that Russian agents tried to help his 2016 presidential campaign.

Zaev declined to name who was behind the payments, citing an ongoing investigation and the sensitivities of diplomatic relations surrounding the country’s bid for NATO membership. He said police learned of the payments after detaining several participants in violent protests outside parliament in June.

Zaev allegations come just days after Greece expelled two Russian diplomats for “illegal actions against national security.” The two diplomats who left the country last Friday are reportedly accused of having funded protests in Northern Greece against the Macedonia deal.

From Zaev’s interview on BuzzFeedNews and the accompanying article, KTG understands that he has not informed so far his Greek counterpart or the Greek Foreign Ministry over his allegations.

Neither did he explain why “Greek businessmen” should be involved in FYROM protests, when there are claims that Russia directly stirred FYROM’s nationalist opposition against the deal.
PS much too many allegations and much too many funds for a tiny country called FYROM, imho. Unless it’s the center of the world and we don’t know it yet. Maybe a deep geo-political and -geostrategic analysis on why FYROM is so important for NATO, US, Germany and Russia could shed light into this mysterious issue.

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