VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski strongly denounced attempts by Zoran Zaev to present himself as a pro-Western leader, while the opposition as anti-Western. Zaev is renewing this line of attack after US President Biden renewed the executive order allowing sanctions against corrupt Balkan politicians, including those who reject the Prespa Treaty.

He keeps talking about VMRO. But he ignores the part of President Biden’s Executive Order dedicated to the corruption, which is widespread, stimulated and protected by the Government. There is not enough paper to name all the criminals linked to the Government, in a black list. The US announcement is primarily aimed at high level corruption. Let’s talk about this issue, let’s talk about the fact that theree are no legal conclusions to any major criminal scandal. No-one linked to this Government is in prison. Zaev is protecting Dragi Raskovski, Den Doncev was allowed to flee the country even after he was filmed stuffing money in a bag. Mere clerks are arrested in the scandal when the Interior Ministry was found to be issuing passports to criminals from around the world. Nobody is investigating Vice Zaev for the racketeering in the REK Bitola mine, and his accomplice Kovacevski was promoted to head of the entire ELEM corporation. I can name hundreds of other scandals, frauds, injustices, Mickoski said during the 30th annual conference of the party’s youth wing – UMS – that was held in Bitola, at the ancient Heraclea theater on Saturday.

Mickoski added that it was VMRO-DPMNE that signed that treaty of strategic partnership with the United States in 2008, that negotiated the visa liberalization regime with the European Union and ensured the stabilization and association process with the EU. “We received a dozen positive recommendations to open the EU accession talks. VMRO-DPMNE respects the US strategic interests. Along with the EU, that is where we strive to go. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to respect and protect the Macedonian national interests. We owe it to Macedonia”, Mickoski added.

The opposition leader accused Zaev of abusing the police structures and using various dirty tricks to go after all who try to protect Macedonian national interests and to remain patriots. Mickoski said that Zaev is incapable of protecting Macedonian national interests because his corruption makes him susceptible to pressure from all sides. He agreed that large portions of the SDSM party are not eager to follow Zaev down the path of constant concessions to the neighboring countries. “The party is held hostage, is kidnapped by three dozen people led by Vice Zaev, Zoran Zaev, Radmila Sekerinska, Ljupco Nikolovski and Oliver Spasovski”, Mickoski said.