The Greek expert noted that Western pressure on Skopje before the referendum

© Photo : press service of the Prime Minister of Greece / Andrea BonettiПремьер Ministers of Greece and Macedonia Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev at the signing ceremony of the agreement on the new constitutional name of Macedonia. June 17, 2018The Greek expert noted that Western pressure on Skopje before the referendum© Photo : press service of the Prime Minister of Greece / Andrea Bonetti

Western countries have on Skopje unprecedented pressure before the referendum in order to force residents to support the membership in NATO, and under such pressure they are likely to vote «for,» said RIA Novosti lecturer of geopolitics at the University of Athens Kapodistrian Konstantinos Grivas.

In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 30 September a referendum on its renaming to the Republic of Northern Macedonia, in the framework of the agreement with Greece. The so-called Prespan agreement resolves a longstanding dispute about the name of Skopje and opens the path to NATO and the EU, but criticized in Greece and in Macedonia. Prior to the referendum, Skopje was visited by many Western politicians, calling to vote «for» the agreement and accession to NATO and the EU.

«I was impressed with how strong the pressure is on the residents of Skopje by European governments. European leaders visited Skopje to promote a referendum. The United States pressured greatly. This unprecedented fact shows that the referendum, as in the General Prespan agreement isn’t going to solve the problems between Greece and Skopje. It’s going to service of geopolitical goals,» said Grivas.

According to him, Skopje pulled into NATO.

«The West seeks so to paint the «correct colors» map of the Balkans. So he intends to eliminate it in the future Russia’s ability to exert the slightest influence in the Balkans,» said Grivas.

He is confident that if the referendum says Yes and Skopje will enter NATO in the Balkans NATO will be very fragile structure because there are very serious contradictions between the NATO countries.

«There are tensions between Greece and Turkey, there are tensions between Greece and Skopje, there are contradictions between Skopje and Albania. Structure will be created, which will be very aggressive towards Russia, and at the same time will be very fragile and very vulnerable, » said Grivas.

He called «appalling» support from the West.

«In fact we are talking about the action of calling geopolitically, but it is geopolitical suicide. And Prespan agreement does not reduce tensions between Athens and Skopje, on the contrary, it will lead them to a higher level – inter-ethnic conflicts into the framework of NATO», — said the Professor.

To the question whether the statement of the Ambassador of France in Skopje Christian Timone that in the referendum the citizens choose «between Northern Macedonia and North Korea» threat of punishment, Grivas said it was a threat and pressure.

«The West is implementing a range of threats and promises to bully people and force them to vote «Yes» in the referendum. And it shows how important it is for Western governments from a geopolitical point of view this referendum. And it is clear that it is directed against Russia. But I repeat – it will not lead to increased anti-Russian architecture. Because NATO is so many internal contradictions that it is very difficult for them to act as a unified anti-Russian force, as in NATO during the «cold war,» he said.

We also noticed that no one accuses the West of meddling in a referendum.

«It’s delicious. If Russia dared even a little to Express a point of view, we would have immediately talked about Russia’s intervention in internal Affairs. What is being done by the countries of the European Union, a hundred times worse, but this is logical from their point of view. The people of Skopje, this time trying to trick and intimidate – it is clear from the Western governments. Lies and threats to try to get people to vote «Yes» in the referendum,» said Grivas.

In his opinion, the outcome will affect the situation in Greece.

«If you vote «Yes,» the Greek government will be at an impasse. He will have to make a contract for ratification, this will cause a very large opposition in the country and, as a consequence, the government will be very difficult to work with. I am concerned that as a result, the government will fall until spring. We have to go to early elections, probably in may. It’s very hard. A significant majority of Greek people are against this agreement. We in Greece are large political unrest,» said the analyst.

With regard to the outcome of the referendum in Skopje, Grivas believes that the people of FYROM will support the renaming of the country to Northern Macedonia.

«I guess I’ll vote «Yes.» Albanian minority supports it. And such a great pressure from abroad, which I think the government in Skopje will do everything necessary for positive results. The desire of the population will not leave. An incredible number of threats and lies shows that they are determined to get a «Yes» in the referendum», — concluded the analyst.