Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"We're closely monitoring developments in Macedonia" - Putin

Russias President Vladimir Putin, right, meets with his Macedonian counterpart Gjorge Ivanov at the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Sergei Karpukhin/Pool photo via AP)
Moscow has been "closely monitoring the developments in Macedonia," Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.


This is according to a Beta report on Wednesday, that quoted Macedonia's MIA agency.

Putin made the remarks as he met with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, who is on a two-day visit to Moscow.

Russia "wishes for the political situation to develop in line with the (Macedonian) Constitution and the principles of democracy," the Russian leader has been quoted as saying.

"I am convinced that your experience and authority will contribute to that effect," Putin told Ivanov.

He also "commended the Macedonian-Russian relations and economic cooperation."

Putin made the statement Wednesday at the start of his talks with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, voicing hope that Ivanov's experience would help "Macedonia's domestic situation develop in accordance with the constitution in a democratic way."

Since 2015, the Balkans nation has been roiled by a political crisis that threatened to ignite inter-ethnic conflict between ethnic Macedonians and Albanians, who make up a quarter of the population. The turmoil culminated last month in angry protesters storming parliament, leaving more than 100 people injured.

At the start of the meeting, Putin extended congratulations to Ivanov on the Patriarch Alexey II Award that he received on Tuesday from Russian Patriarch Kirill.

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