Prime Minister Zaev: Published talks by pranksters are tools and tactics to discredit and damage our strategic interests, such as NATO membership

Today the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia held a press conference regarding the published talks with Russian pranksters. He informed the public that in part of the published phone calls serious interventions have been made and the talks are placed in a context that is not authentic and one can draw wrong conclusions.



“In the interest of the public’s attention on a topic that this morning was of particular interest, but also in the interest of the truth, I feel obliged to say that, unfortunately, I too became one of those who have been deceived by a well-organized structure in the past few years. These structures use and benefit the new forms, tools, and tactics for media discredit and media influence, mostly directed against persons and countries that have Euro-Atlantic aspirations”, stated Prime Minister Zaev while adding that this is one of the efforts to inflict damage to our strategic interests to complete the process of NATO membership.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Zaev said that this involves well-organized structures that spread influences in the interest of third parties. These structures manipulate the public using propaganda from the media that publish emphasized anti-NATO orientations and in our country, the first to publish this were the media channels that spread lies, anti-NATO propaganda and disinformation on daily basis.

“In this case, I was the target of political discredit. However, I am not the only one”, stated Zaev, adding that several politicians and public officials, among which the French President Emmanuel Macron, former British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, former Georgian President  Mikheil Saakashvili and NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, as well as the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were also part of these fraudulent telephone conversations.

“In one part, the published telephone conversations have been manipulated and serious interventions have been made to put them in a context that is not authentic, and one can draw wrong conclusions. Such is the published part on the question for the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). Interventions were made to this part of the talks. In that part, I only speak of my determination for the Macedonian Orthodox Church to become autonomous.  The remaining parts of the published talks only reaffirm the viewpoints which I represent in the public constantly regarding the interests of our country. These talks show my permanent pledge and commitment to the strategic determination of our country”, added Prime Minister Zaev.

Moreover, Prime Minister Zaev informed that in part of the tasks one can hear his clearly expressed views against changes in the borders and exchange of population, protection of the peace on the Balkan and against the danger from new Balkan wars.

“Certain parts of the telephone conversations”, added Prime Minister Zaev, “reaffirm my trust in the Agreements with Greece and Bulgaria and one can hear my pledge for the guaranteed Macedonian identity, Macedonian language and the term Macedonians, as our identity, guaranteed in the Agreement with Greece that resolved three-decades-long naming dispute”.

“This alarms us and the overall democratic world; this event urges the need for comprehensive, organized fight against fake news and manipulations. I can say that I accept the fact that I am a victim of my openness and constant availability to everyone. I have a constant open line for all our strategic partners and for the citizens. This is because to me, the top priorities are the interests of the country and the interests of the citizens”, said Prime Minister Zaev on the press conference for the media and the public. 

Furthermore, Prime Minister Zaev underlined that this case confirms that it is necessary to review and apply all protocols for secure communication; however, this case is a proof that these protocols are constantly open to attacks and the innovations of the masters of organized attacks against NATO member-states and against the countries with Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

“I avail myself of this opportunity to announce that very soon the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia will publish an urgent plan for resolution action against these special activities for spreading disinformation. We will publish a plan in compliance with the interests of our NATO allies due to our future full-fledged NATO membership”, said the President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, in his address on today’s press conference.