Analysis 13 Apr 17

Macedonia’s Crisis Damages Relations With Albania

Good Macedonia-Albanian relations may fall victim to the internal power struggle in Macedonia, which has seen Tirana accused of plotting to subvert the country.

Semra Musai
lMacedonia's VMRO DPMNE party leader, Nikola Gruevski. Photo: MIA

Experts warn that the war on words launched against Albania by Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and by his political ally, the leader of the VMRO DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski, may do lasting damage to formerly cordial ties.

Macedonia’s former ambassador to NATO, Nano Ruzin, told BIRN that former Prime Minister Gruevski, who is now helping to block the formation of an opposition-led government, would not hesitate to sacrifice relations with Albania if it helps him cling to power.

“The populist Gruevski has a strong will to stay in power, so he doesn’t mind if he sacrifices not only [Macedonia’s] internal relations but also its relations with its neighbours,” Ruzin said.

Gruevski himself tried and failed to convince his former coalition partners among Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian parties to join him in a new government after the December 11 general election.

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