The Russian businessman accused of sponsoring protests in Macedonia


Ivan Sweitat: Sergey Ivanov / “Kommersant”

Russian businessman Ivan Savvidi, a former member of the party “United Russia”, accused of sponsoring the demonstrations against the renaming of Macedonia. This writes BuzzFeed, citing documents provided by the Ministry of internal Affairs of the country.

It is reported that the businessman allegedly transferred more than 350 thousand dollars for the Macedonian politicians, nationalist organizations and football fans opposed changing the name of the country and its subsequent entry into NATO. In the document, the interior Ministry said that the money was paid in cash, which was transported across the border with Greece. One of football fans involved in the riots confirmed that his participation in them was paid.

The Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev told BuzzFeed that “the government has received reports of Greek businessmen who support the Pro-Russian course and listed the Macedonians funds”. In exchange, they had to start the riot before the referendum on joining NATO to be held later in 2018.

He Savvidi his involvement in the protests in Macedonia denied, wrote RBC. According to the representative of the company “Agrokom”, founded by a businessman in 2004, material BuzzFeed is not true, and the organization intends to go to court.

On July 11 the Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported that the country had decided to expel two Russian diplomats, two banned entry. The publication explained that they are accused of meddling in the internal Affairs of the state and illegal actions against national security of Greece.

In June, Greece and Macedonia agreed to change the name of the former Yugoslav Republic a new name: the Republic of North Macedonia. On 5 July, the Macedonian Parliament for the second time approved this agreement, having overcome the veto of President Gjorge Ivanov. Macedonians will also need to make changes to the Constitution, a referendum on the issue planned for the autumn.

After approval of the document including the Greek side of Skopje will be eligible to apply for membership in the EU and NATO. Before the negotiations on the European Union was blocked by Greece, while in 2011 the international court of justice decided that Athens does not have the right to do that.

The dispute about the name of the country started in 1991 after Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia. The name of the country was not recognized by Athens, as in Greece there is a province, and the new country could apply to it.

Video, photo All from Russia.


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