Statement on the Macedonia Referendum

Response to Russian Disinformation About Interference in Macedonia

As delivered by Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Macris
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 15, 2018

It is unfortunate the Russian Federation spreads disinformation and unfounded allegations about political developments in the Western Balkans. This is a region whose people have decided independently their Euro-Atlantic future, and we support their sovereign right to pursue it, even if Russia disapproves.

Just one month ago in the Permanent Council we discussed the referendum in Macedonia. We won’t repeat our entire statement. However, as you will recall, ODIHR election observers concluded that the process was conducted freely and professionally. Simply because some parties do not like the outcome does not mean there was outside interference in the vote.

The United States welcomes the decision by Macedonia’s Parliament to initiate the constitutional changes to implement the Prespa Agreement with Greece. The United States believes that the Prespa Agreement is a historic opportunity to advance stability, security, and prosperity throughout the region. It is in line with the will of the Macedonian people.

Finally, any suggestion that U.S. Embassy officials in Skopje were involved in the parliamentary vote process are patently false. Those accusations are absurd and typical of Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns, with which we have become all too familiar.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.