The Hybrid Regime in Skopje Leads the Country Towards Complete International Isolation

The hopes of the citizens of North Macedonia for a European future and EU membership are slowly but surely fading. The new president of the country, Gordana Davkova, and the new Prime Minister, Hristijan Mickoski, are deliberately leading the corruption-ridden state towards deeper international isolation.

According to Freedom House’s ranking, North Macedonia is a country with a hybrid regime, exhibiting significant deficits in the democratic governance of institutions, the independence of the judiciary, and human rights. While in opposition, the current Prime Minister, Hristijan Mickoski, leader of the nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE, claimed that the previous socialist government of SDSM was to blame for this. Contrary to expectations, after winning the elections in May this year, Mickoski's first actions as Prime Minister indicate that he does not intend to improve the democracy in North Macedonia. In coordination with President Davkova, Mickoski began his administration with overt provocations towards Bulgaria and Greece, openly threatening to disregard and ultimately terminate bilateral international agreements with them. 

Shocked by the initial actions of the Mickoski-Davkova tandem, the European Commission and the U.S. State Department issued statements reminding North Macedonia that it must adhere to international agreements with Bulgaria, Greece, and the European Union. It is clear that if North Macedonia does not heed these recommendations and continues down the path of confrontation with Bulgaria, Greece, and the EU, it will soon face complete international isolation.

What motivates the Mickoski-Davkova tandem to distance North Macedonia from the EU and lead the country towards international isolation?

The answer to this question requires examining the development of the deeply corrupt political elite in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) from its declaration of independence in 1991 to the present day. The political elite in Skopje has never sincerely intended for the country to overcome its authoritarian communist past, especially if that would lead to a reduction in Serbian influence. 

This is evident from the way the question was phrased in the independence referendum held on September 8, 1991: "Are you for a sovereign and independent state of Macedonia, with a right to enter into any future alliance with the sovereign states of Yugoslavia?" Many Macedonian politicians today pride themselves on this referendum but deliberately avoid commenting on the second part of the question. Today's president, Gordana Davkova, certainly does not want to remember this period of her life, as in 1991 she actively campaigned against Macedonia's independence as a representative of the socialists in SDSM.

The dominant influence of Serbia is also evident from the fact that during the war in Yugoslavia, on March 25, 1999, pro-Serbian extremists attacked the American embassy in Skopje, something that did not even happen in Belgrade. 

Today, despite being a NATO member, North Macedonia has not yet revealed the files of the communist secret services that governed the country with repression from 1944 onwards. Without disclosing the files of the former secret services, the dependencies between today's political elite and the Yugoslav repressive apparatus remain a secret to the citizens of the country and the international community. 

A concrete example is North Macedonia's ambassador to the UN, Ljubomir Frckoski, who was found to have been a full-time employee of Yugoslavia's secret services that repressed Bulgarians. 

The dependencies between today's politicians in Skopje and the secret services of former Yugoslavia make it impossible for North Macedonia to pass a law condemning communism as a criminal regime and to rehabilitate the victims of this inhumane ideology.

Today, Serbian influence in Mickoski's government is visible at the highest level, with Ivan Stoilkovic, chairman of the Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia, appointed as deputy prime minister and minister for relations with communities. In a statement from April 15 this year, Stoilkovic called the Srebrenica massacre a "necrophilic Disneyland," which went "unnoticed" by the Mickoski-Davkova tandem. In a letter, Serbia's prime minister, Milos Vucevic, congratulated Stoilkovic on his appointment, and the latter thanked him "on behalf of the Macedonian people."


What is the ultimate goal of the Mickoski-Davkova tandem?

A cold analysis of the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe shows that the Mickoski-Davkova tandem is merely a tool of malicious influence, skillfully used by Russia and Serbia in North Macedonia. The war in Ukraine has heightened Russia's interests in the Balkans to the highest degree. The Kremlin's strategic goal is to create a new conflict in the Western Balkans to divert EU and NATO resources from Ukraine. The best scenario for Putin and his most loyal ally, Vucic, would be to ignite a conflict between two NATO member states. North Macedonia has been chosen as the "sacrificial lamb," where, due to the historical closeness between Belgrade and Skopje, Russia can most easily achieve its strategic goals. The nationalist Mickoski-Davkova tandem is skillfully used to worsen North Macedonia's relations with Bulgaria, Greece, and, in the last week, Albania. Mickoski did not hesitate to challenge the census in Albania, which showed that Bulgarians outnumbered North Macedonians three times. For the Mickoski-Davkova tandem, confrontation with Bulgaria, Greece, and Albania is just the first step towards complete international isolation for North Macedonia. This situation is welcome for the political elite in Skopje, which has no interest in being pressured by the EU and the USA to reform and democratize. The regimes of Putin and Vucic will continue to benefit from the situation, increasing their influence in the country. It remains to be seen whether Russia and Serbia will be satisfied with merely political control over Skopje, or if this is just a prelude to pushing North Macedonia into internal or international conflict. | BGNES


The article was written by International News of BGNES News Agency