Pendarovski: We Have Strengthened Capacities for Fighting Anti-Western Propaganda
North Macedonia’s President, Stevo Pendarovski, said yesterday that after the referendum and the change of the name of the country, the anti-Western propaganda has increased. Pendarovski said that there is propaganda that claims “you do not need NATO and the European Union”, but that the country has strengthened its capacity to combat such propaganda and that it has the support of NATO allies, writes Portalb.mk
“Since 2018, since our name change referendum, those pressures from that kind of propaganda, which are now called hybrid threats and so on, have strengthened, but we have also strengthened the capacities in that area because the membership in the alliance helps us a lot, from where we get expertise and any kind of support and exchange of information. So, there is propaganda, but we are fighting against it and I think we are relatively successful. You know that even the largest and most powerful countries in the world cannot prevent the influence of their elections, and without listing the countries, we all know. It is clear that there has been and will be an impact on that aspect, but I think we are much better equipped and able with internal capacities to neutralize such pressure,” Pendarovski said.
At the press conference held after the Security Council session, when asked in what manner is North Macedonia ready to respond to Russian propaganda and whether the centers of Russian disinformation and propaganda are located in North Macedonia, Pendarovski said that he could not give specific information, because it is for confidential information, but ensured that action was taken to neutralize them.
“If I comment on that part publicly, I will have to go into what is sensitive or classified information. Of course, there are sources of disinformation that come not only from the source you locate in other countries, not only from countries but also from entities and groups and individuals around the world, which we locate with the help of our most successful NATO allies. However, actions are being taken, but I cannot be specific to say there are activities towards our country, which are not in line with our national and state interests, and which are trying to undermine them. There are joint activities and efforts of our institutions to neutralize them and prevent that penetration,” he said.
Regarding the disinformation about the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Pendarovski said that Ukraine has a partnership with NATO, but is not a member of NATO, so one should not believe the propaganda that in case of war NATO as an alliance will enter Ukrainian territory.
“It will not happen. It is quite different if assistance can be provided on a bilateral basis, but you will not see NATO troops, including our army, in hostilities on Ukrainian territory if tensions there reach the level of open conflict,” he said.