Counterspin: It Is Not True that Bujar Osmani Did Not Warn the Citizens of RNM in Ukraine about the War
Despite the claims of the President of the Alliance for Albanians, Zijadin Sela, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of RNM, Bujar Osmani, before the start of the war in Ukraine, repeatedly appealed to the citizens of North Macedonia, who were in Ukraine to leave because of a possible war. Hence, Sela’s statements that “Osmani did not warn our citizens and therefore should be responsible for every family that is there today” are not true, writes Portalb.mk
Author: Ardit Ramadani,
The president of the Alliance for Albanians, Ziadin Sela, said in public that, since Bujar Osmani had information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he should bear the responsibility for the families that remained in Ukraine, which is a distortion of the truth:
Spin: I think that North Macedonia as a NATO member should have information, and if they had accurate information then there should be responsibility. As for their responsibility, I do not know by what right and whether they have a conscience to make these people feel bad, to come out and say that we knew the exact day and hour when the attack would take place, and at the same time to leave dozens of families, children and mothers, parents, and citizens of North Macedonia in Ukraine, instead of trying to create corridors to get out of crisis areas now, in time of war.
Spin: If this minister knew everything, then he should bear the responsibility for every family that is there today.
[Source: FOL / Facebook – Ziadin Sela – Date 09.03.2022]
Counterspin: Before the start of the war, Osmani repeatedly appealed to the citizens of RNM in Ukraine to leave “while it is still possible”.
Let us remind that the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, and the first appeal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Bujar Osmani to the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia who were in Ukraine, was uttered on February 13.
It has become very certain that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is very possible, so we have started to activate some of the plans we have prepared for this scenario. The first plan was a public appeal to the citizens of RNM in Ukraine to leave the country. We have identified our citizens, and we have several categories of our citizens. The total number of our citizens in Ukraine is currently around 100, Bujar Osmani said on February 13.
The second public appeal of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani was on February 21, i.e. 3 days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Osmani said that the RNM Embassy in Ukraine is in constant contact with all our citizens and that some have already managed to return to North Macedonia, others called on them to do the same.
“In communication with our embassy in Kyiv, we appealed to our citizens who are there to take advantage of the opportunity, which may be the last. No one can be sure, but let us use the operation of the flights while they are active because every day an airline cancels flights to Kyiv and returns to Skopje. We have identified all our people, the embassy has contacted them, the families of the diplomats have returned, the diplomats are staying there; we have provided conditions for the functioning of the embassies in the next three months. According to the information of the embassy, 12 people informed the embassy that they had returned to RNM, so in addition to their family members, there may be more such cases because these people have no obligation to inform the embassy that they have returned to Macedonia,” said Osmani on February 21.
Meanwhile, at the beginning of the invasion, the Foreign Ministry confirmed that 120 Macedonian citizens and their families were in Ukraine, 20 of whom returned before the aggression on February 24, and about 80 percent of the total had already been evacuated. Eight citizens are requesting evacuation and they are still in Ukraine. Four of them are Macedonians, four of them are Ukrainian citizens, but they have family ties with our citizens. Everyone was given a public appeal to leave Ukraine before the start of the war.
Therefore, the statements that the citizens of RNM in Ukraine are “abandoned”, and that there are attempts to help them only now that the war has started, are not true. Politicians must check what they say and not spread disinformation.