Zaev: I possess no evidence of Russian influence in Macedonia

Zoran Zaev; Photo: Tanjug / Dragan Kujundžić

SKOPJE – Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, replying to a question at the “EU-Western Balkans Media Days” conference, said that he has no evidence of Russian influence in Macedonia.

“I have no evidence of any Russian influence in Macedonia. The Russian Federation is a friend of the Republic of Macedonia and it does not stand in the way of Macedonia’s accession to the EU. However, it is openly opposed against its accession to NATO. If there is any evidence of interference by using fake news I will publicly share them”, said Zaev.

He stressed that he is aware of the networks of profiles that are spreading fake news on social media, including traditional media, and stated that he hopes that we “can get to know the details,” but that there are no indication of countries spreading fake news.

Macedonian Prime Minister warned that “the misuse in the form of spreading disinformation can easily reflect on stability and it doesn’t represent freedom of speech”.

Earlier today, US Defence Secretry James Mattis arrived in Skopje. He used the occasion to condemn Russia for trying to undermine the referendum, which takes place on 30 September.

Prime Minister Zaev stated in July that he is aware of businessmen “sympathetic to the Russian cause” offering Macedonians between $13,000 and $21,000 to cause violence ahead of the referendum