Ruzin stressed the mutual interest expressed for Macedonia to become a NATO member at the meetings with representatives of USA, Germany, Spain, France, Great Britain and Greece.
The Greek party said it was more important to extend the Balkan wing of NATO than the one of the countries that share borders with Russia.
Nazmi Malikji, who also attended the session, said Macedonia was not in the first priority group of new NATO members, referring to the consensus at the voting. He said Macedonia was in the second priority group, about which a positive solution could be expected from the Greek Parliament, which would open the way for Macedonia's membership in NATO.
It was decided in Athens that the next year NATO seminary would be held in Ohrid, Macedonia, and would be financed by USA mainly. Meanwhile, NAA Chairman Carsten Fogt will visit Macedonia in November.
The two Ministers notified signing of a protocol on military cooperation that would include training of Albanian officers in Greece and a cooperation in the military industry sector.
Meanwhile, Macedonian and FR Yugoslav Transport Ministers expert groups are expected to sign today, or tomorrow the draft agreements on regulation of all transport areas and connections between the two countries.
Last week, a Macedonian Transport Ministry delegation visited Madrid, following the invitation of the Spanish Transport Minister. The parties discussed the Draft Agreement on passenger transport between the two countries.
The licenses which should be exchanged were fixed and exemption from additional expenses and taxes was agreed on.
He also appointed Servet Avziu an Ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Croatia.
Tony Millson, the UK Ambassador to Macedonia, announced yesterday that a British bus will tour all over Macedonia in June to promote the BBC Programme in Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish.
The program anticipates two cultural presentations in Rome: an exhibition of Macedonian painters in the 'Memo' Gallery, and piano concerts of Haidi Elzeser and Simon Trpchevski at the 'Bandini' Hall.
Macedonian delegation will be received by Italian President Liugi Skalfaro, by the Italian Parliament President Lucciano Violante, by Vice General Manager of the Culture Affairs Administration Mario Bolva and by Vatican Secretary of State Angello Sodano. It has not been confirmed yet, that the Macedonian representatives will be received by the Pope.
The Union President Stojan Nikolov, however, said this press conference was organized by an illegitimate group, that is not entitled to represent the Union. The group, on the other hand, said Nikolov was released from this duty due to the mistakes he had made, and that Blagoja Ivanovski was the new President.
The press conference was also attended by representatives of the autonomous trade unions of 'Zem-Promet' and 'Centro', who presented numerous data about misusing the privatisation of these two trade companies.
MAAK- Conservative Party, according to its programme and its 'Charter for Protection of Western Macedonia from Great Albanian Aspirations', announced an open battle against the anti-Macedonianism. The Party called on all the Albanians and Macedonians - bearers of such intentions, not to play with fire and not to involve the citizens of Tetovo, Gostivar and Debar in their games, as their patience was expiring.
He concluded by saying that the request of Macedonia for Prohor Pchinski Monastery to be given a special status was a direct provocation of Serbia.
It seems that somebody needed to warm up a possibility for the autocephalousness of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) to be recognized at the recent session of the Holy Archbishops Synod of Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC). And the idea did not come from Skopje, but from Belgrade, i.e. from somebody familiar with the situation in the SPC. It was, however, immediately denied, again from Belgrade: the recognition was 'frozen', the mutual recognition of Macedonia and FR Yugoslavia did not mean recognition of the MPC, and MPC was even accused of 'not caring about the Orthodoxy, but about a national affirmation'. It clearly shows that relations between the Churches remain unchanged for the time being. Changes, however, happen, no matter how much Serbian Church officials are ready (or not) to recognize the new reality.
Nobody should believe that the highest circles of SPC are not aware of what is happening, and that the situation is eliminating the last Serbian 'arguments' to refuse to recognize the autocephalousness of MPC. The tactics of notifying and then immediately denying the possibility for recognition is mostly an internal need to demonstrate firmness and keeping the old positions. After all the threats, provocations and anathema addressed to the Macedonian Church, the recognition would be a too big step for SPC. Tactics is, therefore, chosen to moderate it, but the final must be accepting the independence of MPC.
The position of MPC can certainly be called 'secure' at the moment, as there are not any more reasons to deny its autocephalousness. The recognition that took place between Macedonia and FRY opened the doors for the Churches to do the same. Serbian Patriarch German himself said in one occasion that 'MPC could be recognized only when Macedonia will be an independent country'. Although the existence of an independent country is not a crucial factor in the recognition of an independence of Churches, it is one of those unavoidable. But, to be honest, it was a condition previously fulfilled, as Macedonia was a state at the time of former SFRY as much as Serbia was.
The internal needs of SPC at the moment are such that they ask something to be obtained before they give anything. For MPC, it might mean defining of the mutual relations between the Churches regarding the rights of believers. It is well known that believers of the Serbian nationality in Macedonia are complaining of being 'deprived of their religious rights' for some time already, and that SPC is requiring certain churches, monasteries and properties to be given to it. It all shows that in case SPC gives up its requests from MPC to return within its framework, the situation will develop towards the regulation of these issues. MPC will be able to discuss them, but it should also require equal treatment of Macedonian believers in FRY, i.e. settle the issues of their religious rights and freedom. The status issues, as the one of Prohor Pchinski Monastery, must not be forgotten.
The strategy of SPC was, obviously, intended for the home public, as it is in a situation to save what it can, if one takes into account what it had done following the nationalistic policy of its country.
The recognition of MPC can not be expected to be a matter of SPC and its estimations only. Recognition of a Church involves much more complicated relations, created by other authorities of the Orthodox Church. The message of the Greek Church that it was 'surprised and disappointed' by the Macedonia-FRY 'unexpected and unexplainable' recognition and that it 'creates both a political and religious problem', clearly warned SPC to be careful about its future moves. It was another proof that the recognition of MPC autocephalousness has a dimension connected with the relations between other Orthodox Churches. At this point, we are dealing with the Serbian, Greek and Russian Orthodox Churches.
In case we consider that the external position of the Serbian Church is not so strong any more, due to their exhaustion from internal problems, the issue of the policy of Orthodox Churches leads us directly to the relations between Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchies. Global evaluations are that a dominance fight is taking place in the Orthodox world. The Moscow Patriarchy sees itself as 'the third Rome', due to its greatness, but Greek Church also has ambitions for becoming a leader, pointing out the Cosmos Patriarch Bartholomew the First as a person who would directly realise that.
One of the MPC Holy Synod members publicly presented the need to leave Constantinople as a spiritual centre of the Orthodoxy and to turn to the Russian Orthodox Church. It was supported by the Head of MPC, Archbishop Mihail. Although the situation is still vague regarding this extraordinary declaring of MPC before any other Orthodox Church had done it, it seems that MPC is expecting significant moves to take place in the Orthodoxy, which might affect the treatment of MPC.
It is certain that the pan-Hellenic stand of the Cosmos Patriarch and of the Greek Orthodox Church are unacceptable for the Macedonian side and for some other Orthodox Churches. It is not certain, however, how much does that stand have in common with the Russian Church. One should not hide that the Russian Church had not made anything to support the autocephalousness of MPC, and that it had even opposed to it, due to the fact that other Churches had not recognized the independence of the Ukraine Church. Whatever, the recognition of MPC will depend on the resolving of Moscow - Constantinople clash.