The continuing unrest in Macedonia is a sustained regime change attempt, entirely driven and financed by some Western countries, Srdja Trifkovic told RT International in his latest interview.
RT: The protesters have vowed to stay on the streets until the government resigns. Will it go that far?
ST: It’s a classic regime change scenario as outlined by Gene Sharp many years ago. I don’t think it will work this time round. First of all, we are talking about thousands of protesters, not tens of thousands. In a country like the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, with its two million people, tens of thousands might have provided the critical mass needed. I do not believe that Zoran Zaev, the opposition leader, has any reason to believe that [Prime Minister] Nikola Gruevski will simply pack up and go. Gruevski knows that he is under attack both by the Western powers, which have provided compromising materials leaked to the opposition, and by the Albanian terrorists; and he knows that his maneuvering space is extremely limited. So I don’t think that it will end in 24 or 48 hours, with yet another president resigning.
RT: Washington and Brussels have spoken out in support of the opposition. Could the anti-government wing eventually get more than vocal backing?
ST: Washington and Brussels have been driving this sudden crisis in Macedonia all along. The geopolitical rationale is Gruevski’s willingness to consider the possibility of Macedonia hosting a key segment of the new proposed Turkish pipeline that would bring Russian gas into Central Europe. As we know Bulgaria had to say ‘no’ under heavy pressure from Washington and Brussels. The willingness of the authorities in Skopje to even consider that possibility suddenly resulted in the recent demonization of Gruevski as a corrupt nationalist, hardliner and all the rest of it: we’ve seen the amazing spectacle of the EU ambassador in Skopje joining the protesters. It’s obvious that this is a sustained regime change attempt dictated from Washington and Brussels, driven and financed from there. It has given encouragement to Albanian terrorists to stage their action in Kumanovo [on May 9]. We are really witnessing just another episode in a long-term geopolitical battle between Washington and its pliant Brussels allies on one side and Russia on the other, with the Macedonians this time round being the collateral damage.
RT: How long will this play out in your opinion? Do you expect this will fizzle out?
ST: On the one hand it might, but on the other I wouldn’t be surprised if someone in Washington presses yet another Albanian button which would result in another terrorist outrage like the one in Kumanovo – and then of course things could spin out of control. Then we might even see the security forces being encouraged from Washington and Brussels to intervene in order to “preserve lives and to save public order.” If that happens then all bets are off. For as long as it remains strictly political, as long as various NGOs are paying 50 euros a day to the youths to attend these rallies, I think that Gruevski might actually have a chance to survive.