Zaevs conspiracy theory wants PAOKs Ivan Savvidis funding antiNATO protests

first_imgAccording to FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev his government has received multiple reports that “Greek businessmen” who are “sympathetic to the Russian cause” paid locals amounts ranging from $13,000 to $21,000 to “commit acts of violence”.In an interview with mainstream media website BuzzFeed News, the PM argued on Friday that his country suspects a Greek-Russian billionaire bribed protesters with the intention to undermine the outcome of the much anticipated referendum that will determine whether FYROM will be able join NATO later this year.Reports have allegedly gathered evidence uncovering PAOK president and former Russian lawmaker Ivan Savvidis being a key player in what is described as a massive scheme run by Russian-Greek businessmen to incite violence that will prevent the Balkan state from entering the NATO alliance.According to the accusations, Savvidis appears to have distributed more than $350,000 to FYROM politicians, nationalist organisations, and soccer fans to cause turmoil.A soccer hooligan involved in violent demonstrations against the deal in June confirmed to the Investigative Reporting Lab that he had received payments, BuzzFeed News reported.The Interior Ministry documents revealing the scheme have been reviewed by BuzzFeed News’s reporting partners, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, and Investigative Reporting Lab Macedonia.Savvidis, a dual citizen of Greece and Russia used to own the latter’s state tobacco company before acquiring Northern Greek soccer club PAOK FC. The infamous controversial businessman who hit international headlines earlier this year for getting into a fight during a soccer game whilst carrying a gun is reportedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.“The Russian representatives who were here, and also others from Moscow, [don’t] hide themselves that they are against our integration in NATO,” Mr Zaev said. “Part of them are connected with media, part of them … encourage the young people to protest in front of the Parliament, to attack police men, that kind of things. It’s very obvious.”The FYROM PM said that he believes that integrating with NATO is essential for creating security in the country adding that he is reassured that Greece is standing up to Russia in defending the agreement.“We will take all necessary measures to block inappropriate activities what will happen here,” he stressed.“The integration protest means finally that we will be a country that has support from everybody in the world.”Mr Zaev went on to say that he finds Greece’s stance positive while they are also seeking support from the US and especially the American President explaining  that he asked Mr Donald Trump during the NATO summit “to help our state to have a successful referendum, our citizens have [the] democratic right to use [this] opportunity to decide what kind of future we will move [towards] in the future.”“The United States — still — is the huge example of democratic institutions, [rule] of law, free speech, and free media. That is the important thing,” he said. “It’s a huge model for us and good example.”“I think that the institutions in the United States [are] so strong not even [a] president can make so big damage. I think there will remain a good example, especially for this part of the world.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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