Monday, June 09, 2008

Russia won't change Macedonia stance

Russia remains consistent regarding the use of name for the Republic of Macedonia, this country's president says.

Crvenkovski, Medvedev, meet in St. Petersburg (Beta)
Crvenkovski, Medvedev, meet in St. Petersburg (Beta)

Branko Crvenkovski's comments came Saturday after his meeting in St. Petersburg with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Macedonian media report that Medvedev reiterated Moscow's position over the former Yugoslav republic's name, "despite continuous demands that are coming from Greece".

Athens, whose northern region is also called Macedonia, has for the past 17 years disputed Skopje's right to use its constitutional name, arguing that it implies "territorial pretentions".

When it came to Kosovo, Crvenkovski said, the Russians "made no suggestions" as to the position Skopje should take regarding recognition of the province's ethnic Albanians' declaration of secession, rejected by Serbia as illegal.

"There were no suggestions, neither during the meeting with now Premier Vladimir Putin in Zagreb, nor during the conversation with Medvedev. Each country decides according to its own wish. We will do so, bearing in mind our interests, but also the position of those structures we are moving toward, and that is NATO and the EU," the Macedonian president said.

Crvenkovski also expresses his country's interest in receiving more Russian investments, in sectors other than energy.

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