FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said that his government has received numerous reports that “Greek businessmen” who “favour Russian positions” have paid FYROM citizens between 13,000 dollars and 21,000 dollars to “commit violent acts” ahead of the crucial referendum later this year, which will determine if FYROM can enter Nato.
Zaev made these allegations in an interview with BuzFeed, in which he refused to reveal particular businessmen, following the Nato summit last week. While there, he revealed that he asked US President Donald Trump for assistance with the referendum in which citizens of FYROM will approve or reject the Greece-FYROM deal negotiated by Zaev.
Zaev said he asked Trump “to help our country conduct a successful referendum and for our citizens to have the democratic right to use this opportunity to decide toward what kind of future we shall move.”
Zaev also said that he would like Trump to visit FYROM during the referendum campaign.
“The United States, still, is the great example of democratic institutions, the rule of law, and freedom of the press. This is important. It is an enormous and good example for us,” Zaev said.
Zaev refused to reveal who is behind these alleged payments, citing the fact that there is an ongoing investigation and the sensitive diplomatic relations regarding his country’s efforts to join Nato. He said the police was informed of the payments, and detained a number of people who participated in violent protests outside of the parliament in Skopje, in June.
“The Russian representatives who were here, as well as others from Moscow, do not hide that they oppose our accession to Nato. One segment of them are linked to the media, while another segment encourages youth to protest outside of parliament and to attack police officers..,It is obvious,” Zaev said.
We are taking all necessary measures to prevent unbefitting activities that will take place here,” Zaev said.
“The accession process will mean finally that we are a country that is supported by the entire world,” he said.