Sunday, 24 October 2021 | News today: 0

Sullivan tells Macedonia to ratify the name change and work to counter Russian influence

salivan-zaev-960x640

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan called on Macedonia to ratify the Prespa treaty and change its name into North Macedonia in order to join NATO and the European Union.

– The United States strongly support full implementation of the Prespa agreement which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU as the Republic of North Macedonia, contributing to regional stability, security and prosperity. We are committed to the security and stability of South East Europe and Macedonia is a key part of that stability. Indeed we see Macedonia as a leader in the region in its commitment to peace, stability and cooperation, Sullivan said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in Skopje.

Sullivan also welcomed the decision by the eight former members of VMRO-DPMNE who voted in favor of opening the process to rename the country, and called on additional members of Parliament to join them. The visit comes as the eight announced they have prepared a draft law, in cooperation with the Government, which will pardon them of the various crimes they were charged with.

mksad-zaev-salivan-delegacija-768x512

Sullivan painted a picture of a looming Russia which needs to be countered in the region. He said that Russia opposes the Prespa agreement, and wants Macedonia to remain outside of EU and NATO, but has also interfered in American elections. According the Sullivan, the United States will help other countries counter this Russian influence.

Asked what happens if the Greek Parliament fails to ratify the treaty, Sullivan said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently met with the Greek alternate Foreign Minister and insisted on the importance of implementing the agreement.

Zaev said that the Constitutional amendments are being prepared with active participation from the eight former VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament and with the Albanian parties.

– In parallel with this process, we will continue with the judicial reforms, reforms in the security services and the public administration. We must remain certain that by the middle of next year we will deliver credible results to the European Commission in Brussels, Zaev said.