Macedonia has been plagued by increasing ethnic violence and anti-government protests as the government has come out in support of building the Turkish Stream pipeline through its territory. Violence has erupted at both anti-government protests in which dozens of police officers were injured and in armed attacks against police by gunmen which have killed at least 18 people.
There is increasing concern about potential outside influence involved in recent political demonstrations in Macedonia following reports that students were offered up to $1,500 by an activist group to come up with the best ideas on how to protest against the country's government.
Anti-government protests and a Western attempt to stage a coup in Macedonia will not succeed, as the majority of people are firmly behind current Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, a political expert specializing in Macedonian politics, told Sputnik.
The West has plans to organise "color revolution" in Macedonia, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), the largest opposition party in the country, will demand the resignation of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at a mass protest in the capital Skopje on Sunday, the party’s leader Zoran Zaev said Friday.
Russian Foreign Minister said that Moscow sees the worsening situation in Macedonia as tied to the country’s refusal to join economic sanctions against Russia and its support of constructing the Turkish Stream gas pipeline.
The recent terrorist attack in the city of Kumanovo has prompted Bulgaria to send military troops to its border with Macedonia in order to assist the Border Police in stopping a possible influx of refugees into the country.
Experts in Macedonian affairs spoke with Sputnik about the latest events in the country and their impact on the Balkan region.
The Macedonian city of Kumanovo, where 14 gunmen and eight police officers were killed in clashes over the weekend, is usually a tolerant and peaceful place that was dragged into an outside conflict, the city’s mayor told Sputnik on Tuesday.
The recent spike in violence and tension between Macedonian security forces and groups of ethnic Albanians is an ongoing product of western intervention and NATO bombing of the region in the 1990s, according to Balkan political analysts.
Ethnic Albanians involved in recent violent clashes in the northern Macedonian city of Kumanovo were used by Washington to threaten construction plans for Russia's Turkish Stream gas pipeline, a Serbian political scientist claimed.
Clashes between the police and a group of Albanian gunmen lasted for two days, claiming the lives of at least 22 people, and leaving NATO and the EU anxious about the unrest in their candidate country.
As many as eight Macedonian security officers and 14 gunmen were killed in clashes near the border with Serbia and Kosovo, media reported Sunday.
Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said that Serbia urgently reinforces its border with Kosovo to preserve security of its citizens amid the terrorist attack in Macedonia.
About 40 people, including 38 policemen, have reportedly been injured during anti-government protests in the Macedonian capital Skopje.
At the exact same time that Greece has received a guarantee for billions of cubic meters' worth of Russian gas, Macedonia is being rocked by the threat of a renewed Albanian insurgency designed to offset Moscow’s pipeline plans.
A group of armed men - thought to be from a disbanded Kosovar guerrilla army - have stormed a Macedonian police post, taken several officers hostage and called for the creation of an Albanian state, in what local police officials have described as a "terrorist act."
Russian Energy Minister said Tuesday that the Turkish Stream gas pipeline may be extended to Austria through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.
At a meeting between the military chiefs of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, discussions were held on the formation of a joint military force for Balkan countries, for the purpose of cooperating in the event of natural disasters and other catastrophes.
The leader of a Macedonian opposition party has been charged with attempting to blackmail the country's prime minister and to take over the government; Russia demands a thorough investigation into the alleged plot.