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According to the Foreign Minister, North Macedonia and Montenegro, in order to promise to accept them into the EU, had to join NATO and “take a position that is openly anti-Russian”

The EU and NATO are trying to make Montenegro and North Macedonia ” “a tool in the anti-Russian game,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Nashe Kino Association, published on the Foreign Ministry's website.

“Now there is a striking change between how Montenegrins and Macedonians feel about Russia and what their politicians are being forced to do from Brussels, the EU, NATO. <…> This is the same thing that they tried to do from Ukraine and from a number of other Eastern European countries, — noted Lavrov.

Macedonia, he said, became North Macedonia in order to join the EU. However, she was not accepted there, but instead was drawn into NATO, “they began to stir up Russophobic sentiments, an aggressive policy.” with regard to Moscow, the minister pointed out.

Membership in the European Union was also promised to Montenegro, but before that “they said that it was necessary to join NATO, join the sanctions, take a position that frankly wears anti-Russian character,” added the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

North Macedonia (2005) and Montenegro (2012) are — candidates for EU accession. Montenegro joined NATO in 2017, and North Macedonia— in 2020. In mid-July, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the start of membership negotiations with North Macedonia, as well as Albania, which also has candidate status.

In early June, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bulgaria did not let Lavrov's plane through, then the minister was supposed to fly to visit Serbia. He called the refusal of these countries “unthinkable”; and outrageous. In his opinion, Serbia, which is a sovereign state, was deprived of the right to conduct foreign policy towards Russia. As a result, Lavrov's visit to Serbia did not take place on the scheduled dates.

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The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, called the actions of the three states “clumsy-cave methods”; demonstration of solidarity among European countries.

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