Mattis condemns Russian influence-peddling in Macedonia

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Monday condemned Russia’s efforts to use its money and influence to build opposition to an upcoming vote that could pave the way for Macedonia to join NATO, a move Moscow opposes.

Mattis told reporters traveling with him to Skopje that there is “no doubt” that Moscow has been funding pro-Russian groups to defeat the referendum on a name change later this month.

“They have transferred money, and they’re also conducting broader influence campaigns,” Mattis said. “We ought to leave the Macedonian people to make up their own minds.”

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