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  Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Russia's stance
The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that Russia's stance on the Macedonia naming dispute remains unchanged, despite misleading media reports on a meeting between the Russian and Macedonian foreign ministers.

Russia's Sergei Lavrov and his Macedonian counterpart Antonio Milososki met in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Thursday. Various media reports said Lavrov had pledged Russia's support for the Republic of Macedonia in its naming dispute with Greece.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement published on the ministry's website: "Our position on this issue remains unchanged. In 1992 Russia recognized the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name."

"However, we have repeatedly clearly stated that we support efforts to reach, with UN mediation, a voluntary compromise between Skopje and Athens. We will agree with any mutual acceptable formulation drawn up by the two sides."

Greece objects to Skopje using the name the Republic of Macedonia, saying the name implies a territorial claim to the country's northern province of Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

Initially Greece insisted that Skopje remove the word "Macedonia" from its name, but later said it would agree to a "composite" making it possible to clearly tell the republic and the province apart, such as "New" or "Upper" Macedonia.


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