Sajn: Co-sponsorship of the resolution will impact relations between Serbia and North Macedonia, separating the stance of the leadership and the people

Željko Šajn o kosponzorstvu rezolucije o Srebrenici
Source: Kosovo Online

Zeljko Sajn, a correspondent for Politika from Skopje, believes that the decision for North Macedonia to co-sponsor the Srebrenica resolution cannot pass without certain consequences for relations with Serbia, adding that this is the stance of the Macedonian leadership, but not of the people.

"In any case, we cannot think that this will pass without certain tensions and consequences," Sajn told Kosovo Online.

He adds, however, that the historical relations between the two peoples, as well as familial ties that exist, cannot be overlooked.

"We cannot exclude these relations between Serbia and Macedonia. This cannot be shaken, especially after the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church by the Serbian Orthodox Church, where the peoples have come very close together, and this fraternal relationship has been elevated to a very high level. It is very difficult to shake this," Sajn assessed.

It is a matter, he emphasizes, of relations within Orthodoxy and within the Macedonian and Serbian people, where the resolution aims to impart a certain negative stance towards the entire Serbian people, even those who stand with the Serbian people.

He noted that he asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia and the presidential candidate of the coalition around DUI Bujar Osmani what he expects with such a stance and how it will reflect in the Balkan region, because on one side there is the Ukrainian situation, and on the other, the Middle Eastern war.

"Osmani hinted that he expects reconciliation, however, we cannot be so sure that this will happen in that context. If you call a people genocidal who during, let us not go further back, World War II was genocidally destroyed. The motive for what Germany did in World War II stems from motives that were legalized in German law and even in the Bulgarian assembly the so-called pure law was passed where they behave towards the Slavic, Jewish, and Roma people to destruction. We cannot look at the context only between two countries but must look a bit wider," he concluded.

According to him, the situation regarding the resolution in North Macedonia changed in two days.

"On the night of the Iranian attack on Israel, the very next morning Bujar Osmani held a press conference where he said that the situation in the world is becoming more complex and that we are close to a third world war. In that context, I asked him what is the stance of North Macedonia when it comes to the Srebrenica resolution, he replied that Macedonia will support that resolution in the interest of improving the situation in the Balkans and that he expects that reconciliation will begin, emphasizing that he thinks that there will soon be mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo," he recounted.

The very next day, adds Sajn, Osmani held a press conference where he emphasized that Macedonia would be a co-sponsor for that resolution.

"What changed in 24 hours from his first statement, we have to wait for an answer. I assume it's because Macedonia is the 30th member of NATO and there followed some consultation and addition to join Germany and the USA as a co-sponsor. Whether it's a matter of importance or to show that all countries, even those of the size and significance of Macedonia, will join this and gain a greater number at the UN, that is a question for which we need to wait for an answer," he states.

Sajn emphasizes that the opinion of politicians and the people must be separated.

He refers to a statement by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who was in North Macedonia during the 30th OSCE Ministerial Conference, who then said that while walking through Skopje, he realized that the leadership has one stance, and the people have a completely different one.

"We cannot merge the people and the leadership in this situation, nor can we merge it with the rhetoric in the election campaign because it coincidentally happened to be when there are elections in Macedonia. Politicians have a certain stance, even among politicians I would make a distinction, that is, there is a certain number of politicians who do not agree with such a stance," he said.

As he adds, those politicians who disagree with this stance also hold high positions.

"They asked me not to disclose their names, but they have done their utmost at the UN to ensure that this resolution does not pass, and it's not just about Macedonians, but also about people belonging to other nations such as Turkish, Vlach, or other ethnicities, and here we must be careful whether it is all of Macedonia or just the leadership," Sajn stated.