VMRO-DPMNE called on SDSM to explain which of their party officials met with the Chechen delegation that visited the Macedonian Parliament late last year. The Chechens came from a faction loyal to President Putin and Ramzan Kadyrov, and even discussed erecting a monument to his father Ahmad Kadyrov in Tetovo.

What did Speaker Talat Xhaferi promise to the Chechen delegation? How is it possible that our security services allowed such an obviously risky meeting to take place? SDSM must respond whether our international partners were notified about the meetings Xhaferi is having, as Speaker of Parliament, with groups that undermine democratic and Western values. SDSM and DUI talk a big game about who is pro-Western and who is anti-Western, but at the same time their officials are meeting controversial persons from Chechnya, said VMRO-DPMNE.

Their fellow opposition party, the Alliance of Albanians, also called on DUI and SDSM to explain this meeting. “We see Xhaferi hugging Kadyrov’s men in the pictures which Xhaferi subsequently tried to cover up. To make matters worse, one of Kadyrov’s men, seen on the pictures, has described the 2001 war as a religious war”, the Alliance of Albanians said, referring to the civil war in Macedonia in 2001 in which Xhaferi was one of the top commanders of the Albanian side.