Macedonian Premier tells how much he is ready to pay for Tomos

10 July 2019 18:41
Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev. Photo: Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev. Photo:

Russian prankers, on behalf of Petro Poroshenko, spoof Macedonian Premier Zoran Zaev by proposing him to bribe Patriarch Bartholomew for the Tomos for Macedonian Church.

Famous Russian prankers Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stoliarov (Vovan and Lexus), on behalf of Poroshenko, advised Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev to bribe Patriarch Bartholomew. This is reported by the Greek edition Vima Orthodoxias.

According to Vladimir Kuznetsov, all in all there were three conversations with Zoran Zaev. The first time they communicated almost a year ago – in August 2018, and the last conversation was held in April 2019.

In particular, in one of the conversations with the prankers, Zoran Zaev said that the government of Macedonia is already working with Patriarch Bartholomew on the issue of obtaining autocephaly. Also, according to him, the former Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is also involved in this process.

Later, on behalf of Poroshenko, Kuznetsov and Stoliarov told Zaev that Macedonia had “excellent chances” and “it was possible to start the process” of obtaining autocephaly, and Patriarch Bartholomew had allegedly given his consent thereto. In addition, the prankers advised Zaev to approach the United States Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback.

At the same time, the pranker said that autocephaly is possible only if there is financial assistance to the patriarch: “But I must inform you of one condition in my case. I personally donated money to Patriarch Bartholomew.”

It was stated that the implementation of "this condition, among other things, will also be able to help". Moreover, there was proposed an "amount at a discount". The Patriarch of Constantinople in a story with the prankers purportedly said that he would “make a discount” from 150,000 euros to 100,000 euros if Poroshenko decided to “bring along his friend”.

In response, Zaev said that "this is very good, no problem," and added that "the donation will be made in cash".

In addition, in one of the conversations “Poroshenko” said that the Ukrainian scientists “proved” that the Ukrainians are supposedly ancient Sumerians, while the territory of Ukraine in one period was subject to Alexandria. In response, the Macedonian prime minister said “he had read about it”.

Also, Poroshenko added that Vinnitsa, where he comes from, was founded by Alexander the Great, which means the former president of Ukraine is a direct relative of the famous ruler of Macedonia. "So now I can be called Peter of Macedonia," said the pranker on behalf of Poroshenko.

In turn, the ex-foreign minister of Macedonia, Antonio Miloshoski, said that telephone conversations between the prime minister of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaev and Russian prankers, which had allegedly taken place, are a major political scandal, a violation of diplomatic rules and could lead to the resignation of Zaev and his ministers.

According to Miloshoski, Zaev “violated the National Security Information of Macedonia, the country's image and undermined the confidence of other states: the USA, Greece, Germany, the Russian Federation, having revealed secret negotiations and their positions on sensitive regional and international issues.”

However, at a press conference in Skopje, which was broadcast on the governmental YouTube channel of Macedonia, Zaev said that in many parts of the recording of the conversation there are traces of "technical intervention, due to which false conclusions can be made about its content". According to Zaev, such manipulations are beneficial to the "anti-NATO propagandist media".

In particular, he argues that in terms of the conversation with the question about the Macedonian Orthodox Church, there is a technical intervention: “there I am only talking about my commitment to the MOC receiving autocephaly. Also, my position on the contribution to and support of the MOC domestically and internationally has never been controversial or secret.”

Zaev added he had become a victim of his “openness and accessibility for citizens,” but he is not going to resign. He assured those present that the competent services would strengthen control over government communications.

Earlier, the UOJ wrote that the representative of the Macedonian dissenters, "bishop" Timotheos (Jovanovski) expressed the hope that the non-canonical Macedonian church would be the next after Ukraine to be bestowed autocephaly by the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

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