Original title: LAVROV PREDICTED THIS SCENARIO 2 YEARS AGO, WILL A DIVISION OF MACEDONIA BETWEEN BULGARIA AND ALBANIA BE NEXT?
The portal recycles an old news from 2015 in a sensitive political moment to manipulate the public and cause fear of division of the state, although there is no argument for that.
On November 18th, 2020, the anonymous portal MKD Press published an article titled “LAVROV PREDICTED THIS SCENARIO 2 YEARS AGO, WILL A DIVISION OF MACEDONIA BETWEEN BULGARIA AND ALBANIA BE NEXT?”
In the content of the text, the author refers to the statements of the Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister, Georg Georgiev, on the decision of Bulgaria to block the start of negotiations for the accession of North Macedonia to the EU, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the statement of Ekaterina Zaharieva, about when Skopje will receive support, i.e. by fulfilling their already known conditions.
The same content of the text was published by the portal Infomax, but although the title is different, it still refers to the same alleged scenario of Lavrov from two years ago: Bulgaria supports Albania but not Macedonia: Is Lavrov’s scenario from two years ago being realized now?
There are no elements in the content of the text, i.e. parts of the speeches of Georgiev and Zaharieva that talk about or imply some alleged division of North Macedonia between Bulgaria and Albania. Although in question form, the author of the text with the title imposes a wrong conclusion derived from the decision of Bulgaria not to approve the negotiating framework for the accession negotiations of North Macedonia with the EU.
This is not the first time the MKD Press portal has used this manipulative title. On June 18th, 2020, this portal published an article titled Is Ahmeti hinting at what Lavrov predicted? Division of Macedonia between Bulgaria and Albania? It is obvious that the portal wants to impose on the public the alleged scenario for the division of North Macedonia. The F2N2 team even then responded to this disinformation article from the same portal.
And now, in a new sensitive political moment, they re-posted the same title, derived from a different context of events. The Friendship Agreement for Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between North Macedonia and Bulgaria does not contain provisions for territorial division of our country. Also, the conditions set by Bulgaria for approval of the negotiating framework do not contain territorial claims of this country towards North Macedonia.
The “scenario” of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Lavrov, for the alleged division of North Macedonia dates back to 2015, when he said that the political developments in our country at that moment were Macedonian events shamelessly controlled from outside, that there was talk of further federalization of North Macedonia, and even suggested a division of the country between Albania and Bulgaria.
Responding the same day the then Bulgarian Foreign Minister, Daniel Mitov, reacted immediately to his statement on the division of North Macedonia given to Tass,, calling Lavrov’s statements “extremely irresponsible”: “The attempts to question the European policy in the region and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia is unacceptable,” Mitov said. “The stability of all Southeast European countries is of paramount importance to us and attempts by countries outside the region to undermine it through such proposals should stop,” he added. “Bulgaria will continue to be the guarantor of the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia and there should be no doubt about that,” Mitov concluded.
There is no scenario for the division of our country. Certain portals persistently impose that narrative in sensitive political moments when the country is facing serious challenges. The purpose of these disinformation articles is to manipulate the public and to encourage dissatisfaction and distrust in the institutions of the state, as well as a feeling of fear and hatred towards the indicated neighboring countries. The agreement with Bulgaria and the Prespa Agreement are key components to the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and the finalization of this process is a guarantee for stability, security, and democracy in North Macedonia.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.