The phone prank which Zoran Zaev fell for, which included him falling for the Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, includes a conversation with “NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg”. During the conversation, a Russian prankster who pretends to be Ukrainian President Petro Porosenko, at one point tells Zaev that he has Stoltenberg on line and offers to connect them, which Zaev happily accept.
In the conversation, recorded sometime in the summer of 2018, ahead of the failed name change referendum, Zaev happily lists all the world leaders who will come to Macedonia to push Macedonians to vote in favor of the imposed new name, and keeps warning Stoltenberg on the danger of territorial swaps between Serbia and Kosovo. Zaev insists that this proposal has come from Russia and could be used as precedent to redraw borders elsewhere, including the possibility that Turkey would take over northern Cyprus.
I think that there is some Russian influence in that, because they want to use it this possibility like international practice for some aspirations which Russia have, like Abkhazia, possible Crime, Crimea, maybe Turkey also connected with Cyprus, we are very of that what happened here in Balkan, and we completely support from Madam Merkel we try also to talk in the European Union about that because as you know Balkan is multi ethnical and that would open Pandoria box, Zaev tells “Stoltenberg”.
The Russian prankster pretending to be Stoltenberg also asks Zaev about the possibilty to station Western military forces in Macedonia. Zaev agrees and offers “Stoltenberg” to use the Krivolak army range for exercises.
Of course, with pleasure, we are really dedicated partner until now, in the future like member countries when we have achieved all needed things ahead of us. Count on us for everything. We have a lot of common trainings here, also this very famous part of our country, we call it Krivolak, together with NATO forces and United States forces we have common trainings with our army to be really prepared but also to be guarantee of keeping peace in this part of the world, Zaev adds.