Investigation 09 Jun 17

Macedonia’s VMRO DPMNE Spends $1 Million on US Lobbying

In just over a year, Macedonia's former ruling VMRO DPMNE party spent over $1 million on lobbying services in the United States, a BIRN investigation has revealed.

Tamara Chausidis
BIRN
Skopje
Former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski med Joe Biden in January 11, 2016. Photo: MIA

Between November/December 2015 and January 2017, Macedonia's former ruling VMRO DPMNE party spent more than a million dollars on US lobby groups, according to records published through the US Foreign Agents Registration Act, FARA.

Records made available by the FARA show that the VMRO DPMNE made most payments to lobbyists in one trimester, between November 2015 and January 2016, when VMRO DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski resigned as prime minister and handed over the position to his close associate and party secretary-general Emil Dimitriev.
 
This coincided with the publishing of several promo articles in the US media which praised the VMRO DPMNE's policies to the US readers. The timing also coincided with the intensification of telephone and electronic communication with representatives of the US government, the senate and the congress, as well as with Gruevski's visit to Washington on January 11, 2016.

The second period of intensive lobbying occurred before and after the early parliamentary elections held in December 2016.

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