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Russia accuses West of pushing pro-Albanian agenda in Macedonia

Macedonia has become the latest diplomatic battleground for Russia and the West, after Moscow accused the European Union and Nato of trying to impose a pro-Albanian government in the Balkan state that could cause havoc across the region.

The Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday that western powers wanted to install leaders in mostly Slav Macedonia who would help Albania pursue an expansionist agenda, which allegedly involved “claims to large areas” of Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia and Greece.

Moscow’s unsubstantiated allegations chime with those of Macedonia’s main conservative party and its supporters, who have held street protests in recent days against an emerging coalition between the country’s Social Democrats and three parties of the Albanian minority.

The coalition would have a majority in parliament, but on Wednesday Macedonian president Gjorge Ivanov refused to endorse it, saying that its plans to boost the official status of the Albanian language “threatens the sovereignty of Macedonia”.

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