On 24 and 25th May, upon an invitation from the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dushko Markovikj, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia went on an official visit of Montenegro. The two governments held their first joint session, while bilateral meetings were also conducted: Prime Minister Zaev met Prime Minister Markovikj, President of Montenegro, Milo Gjukanovikj, as well as President of Parliament, Ivan Brajovikj; Angjushev, Sugareski and Nikolovski conducted bilateral meetings with their colleagues from Montenegro.

Significant documents were signed.

Montenegro has already started the negotiations with EU, and 32 out of 33 chapters have been already opened, while 3 of them have been already closed. The Montenegro experience is welcome for the EU accession process of the Republic of North Macedonia.

During the visit, the chambers of commerce of both countries held a business forum which was attended by entrepreneurs and representatives of various companies from North Macedonia and Montenegro.

Montenegro was among the first countries that ratified the Accession Protocol for NATO membership.

But all of this, although bringing positive change, was a target of a very clever spin by Sputnik. What can be seen from this short analysis by F2N2 is manipulation of information, i.e. creation of a disinformation narrative by Kremlin.

But, let’s start from the beginning.

The headline of the article published by Sputnik in Serbian language was the following:

“Brothers in NATO lead the region ‘in a bright future’, while they are threatened by a black scenario“

The main message that Sputnik wants to highlight, both in the lead and in the FB post, is that the tone of the visit is such that it is not clear whether the topic (they mean the visit) was the glorification of NATO or the cooperation between both countries.

This claim is false, and the very fact that besides the NATO membership, many other issues such as the EU membership, the environment, the infrastructure, the improvement of the business climate and cooperation were discussed, says enough that the topic of the visit is very clear.

The assessments by the journalist Ljubica Gojkovikj from “Srpske TV” are also false and they continue the Kremlin narrative. It is not true that Montenegro was “forcefully” pushed in NATO, as it is not true that most of the Macedonian citizens boycotted the referendum, and it is the least true that the Euro-Atlantic Integration is against the interests of North Macedonia.

Reading the article, we noticed that on two occasions the terms “North Macedonian side” and “North Macedonian delegation” were used. From the Instruction for journalists by the MFA, it can be seen that the terms used on both occasions are not correct.

What has caught our attention is the absence of reaction by some portals which only few days ago strongly reacted on an article in  , where the journalist has used the term “North Macedonians”.

These portals are “vigilant” in the monitoring of the western media and they are eager to find an unintentional mistake in order to make an orchestrated attack on the Prespa Agreement.

Why they did not react to this case we do not know.

On the other hand, a similar case was not missed by Infomax, which published an article whose headline states that we became North Macedonians. This is an article in a German business magazine which in its title contains the word “Nordmazedonier”. When it comes to the German grammar, here is another case which was published by the F2N2 team a while ago.

F2N2 is consistent in its position that in the case of Germany, due to the grammatical rules, it cannot be expected that there will be some change in the future. Additionally, the mentioned media do not publish the positive practice by the officials, countries and media which is in accordance with the MFA Instruction. Therefore, a question should be raised why they are focused only on the apparent errors and the grammatical limitations, when it comes to the Western media. There was a similar case with Facebook which published that the first election round is being conducted, which F2N2 also wrote about, but for the second round the style was consistent. F2N2 and appeals to the media and to the opinion makers for patience, because a certain time should pass for the terminology deriving from the Prespa Agreement to be consistently applied. In case of incorrect usage of the defined terms, one does not have to immediately develop conspiracy theories.

The fact that even the US Army had the dignity to apologize supports the above mentioned.




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