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Russsia worried over deadly Macedonian incidents: Lavrov

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Sergei Lavrov

Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday Moscow was worried about the stability of Macedonia and the whole Balkans region after after recent deadly violence there.

“The latest events in Macedonia are very worrying… as well as terrorist tendencies emerging in the Balkans,” Lavrov told reporters in the Serbian capitl.

“We believe that those events reflect an unstable situation in that country and the Balkans… it is (the) implementation of well prepared, planned and executed terrorist acts.”

Lavrov was speaking after a meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic.

His comments followed a shooting in the northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo nearly a week ago that left 22 people dead including eight police officers.

The violence between ethnic Albanian rebels and Macedonian police was the worst in the country for 14 years, and raised fears of fresh unrest similar to the country’s 2001 ethnic conflict.

Lavrov also criticised Brussels’ attitude towards the Balkans.

“The need for concrete action cannot be replaced by political correctness,” he said.

And he voiced Moscow’s concern over the activities of Islamic extremists in the Balkans, saying that “Islamic State is active and is recruiting youngsters to send them to the Middle East and north Africa”.

Although Muslims in the Balkans are mostly moderate, some 600 people from Bosnia, Kosovo and Serbia have joined jihadists in Syria and Iraq, according to estimates.

Lavrov, on a one-day visit to Russia’s traditional ally, was also due to meet Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and President Tomislav Nikolic


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