North Macedonia: EU, NATO opposed to new Balkan borders

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BELGRADE, Serbia

North Macedonia’s president said Wednesday that no NATO or European Union country is supporting alleged unofficial documents on proposed border changes in the Western Balkans. 

Stevo Pendarovski’s remarks came at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

“We spoke very loudly, very clearly, publicly against these very, very dangerous ideas,” said Pendarovski.

“I can tell you from all the contacts I’ve had yesterday with the high functionaries within the European Union and today with the secretary general, and on a daily basis bilaterally with all the other allies within the NATO alliance, no one, no one, I would like to emphasize that word, and no government is supporting these non-papers,” he said, referring to discussion papers which are not to form part of formal business. 

“The very fact that the authors are not publicly known of these non-papers is a clear proof that they are…even they are ashamed of their ideas. Only the people who are not capable of producing creative ideas and concepts how to promote the national interests of their countries and how to make the lives of their people better, only those type of people are producing these kinds of non-concept, concepts…non-papers, thinking, believing that if you divide the people along the ethnic lines, then the prosperity will come overnight.”

Meanwhile, Stoltenberg said he has not seen the documents.

“So first of all, these are documents I only read about in the newspapers. They are not being circulated among NATO allies at NATO headquarters. I have not seen them. I cannot confirm the existence of these documents. And I will never comment on documents I have not seen or read myself. So that’s my main message about those documents, which is not possible to say anything about as long as I’ve not seen them more in general. I can say that what we believe is that NATO plays an important role in helping to stabilize the Western Balkan region through our members in the region — Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania,” he said.

Reports claimed that one of the documents, which outlines the plan for the future of the region, was recently sent to Brussels by Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa. Jansa has denied the claims.

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