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Macedonia: The Name That Broke The Russian-Greek Bond?

Macedonia: The Name That Broke The Russian-Greek Partnership?
Historic partners Russia and Greece are locked in one an ever-worsening spat after Athens accused Moscow of interfering in its domestic affairs while Russia shot back and accused Greece of doing NATO's bidding.

Our final topic, picked by you, dear listeners, earlier in a poll on our Facebook page, is "Macedonia: The Name That Broke The Russian-Greek Bond?", focusing on the spiraling diplomatic spat between these two formerly close states:

Historic partners Russia and Greece are locked in an ever-worsening spat after Athens accused Moscow of interfering in its domestic affairs while Russia shot back and accused Greece of doing NATO's bidding. The dispute began last month after Greece claimed that Russian diplomats were paying protesters to demonstrate against the controversial name agreement with the country's northern neighbor, which Moscow officially recognizes by its current constitutional name as the Republic of Macedonia while Athens calls it the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" out of concern that the lack of a qualifying adjective implies territorial pretensions to the Greek region of Macedonia. 

The deal that was reached between Athens and Skopje would prospectively see the landlocked country renamed as "North Macedonia" and thus remove Greece's veto on its membership to the EU and NATO.

The pact isn't without controversy, however, after tens of thousands of Greeks previously rallied against it because they felt that their government gave away too much by even allowing their neighbor to use the word Macedonia in its name. Faced with unprecedented protests, the authorities alleged a secret Russian conspiracy on the supposed basis that Moscow is against Macedonia's possible fast-tracked inclusion in NATO and just generally enjoys stirring up unrest in Western countries. The tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions that followed have seriously strained these two countries' historic ties and represent one of their worst-ever political crises that doesn't seem to be nearing a resolution anytime soon. 

Russia believes that NATO is forcing Moscow's cherished partner to make these unfriendly moves against its own will in a bid to break the bond that has kept these two states so close over the centuries, though Greece insists that Russia was indeed meddling in its political affairs. In the most recent set of developments, Russian journalists were attacked by football hooligans in Greece last week, while Greece recalled its Ambassador from Russia for urgent consultations in Athens. It's obvious that tensions are escalating but it's less clear exactly why that is, though one possible explanation is that the Greek government is willingly going along with NATO's infowar scheme as a means of signaling its strong disapproval of the newly strengthened ties between Russia and Athens' historic adversary Turkey. 

Andrew Korybko is joined by Alex Christoforou, President and writer for and Dr. Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D., an independent journalist based in Athens, producer and host of Dialogos Radio and contributor to Mint Press News.

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