18:53 GMT +316 January 2019
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    Macedonia's membership in EU to boost relations with Russia

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    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Macedonia's status as a candidate for membership in the European Union will only boost its relations with Russia, the Russian foreign minister said Wednesday.

    Sergei Lavrov, who met with Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva in Moscow Wednesday, said the acceptance of new members to the EU always gives an extra impetus to relations with Russia.

    "I look to the future of our bilateral relations with a definite optimism," Lavrov said.

    Mitreva said the status of EU membership candidate is good news not just for Macedonian citizens, but for all the Balkan countries as well.

    The Russian minister also said Macedonia's constructive approach to the solution of the issue concerning ethnic minorities could be a good example for other Balkan countries and particularly for the situation in Kosovo.

    Lavrov said Mitreva extended an invitation to him to visit Macedonia.

    "I accept this invitation with gratitude and look forward to our new meetings," the Russian minister said.

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