Mattis Accuses Russia of Interfering in Macedonian Vote
American Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has accused Russia of trying to influence a planned vote in Macedonia. The vote could open a path for the country to join NATO.
Mattis spoke to reporters traveling with him to Skopje, the Macedonian capital.
He said he had "no doubt" that Moscow had given money to pro-Russian groups to defeat the vote about changing Macedonia's name. A name change would end a dispute with Greece, which has territory of the same name. Greece has repeatedly blocked Macedonia's request to join NATO.
Mattis said, "We ought to leave the Macedonian people to make up their own minds.''
Macedonians will vote on September 30th to decide on the possible name change. In June, Greece and Macedonia agreed that Macedonia would change its name. In return Greece would end its objections to Macedonia's request to join NATO.
Other Western leaders had accused Russia of interference in the issue earlier, including the Chancellor of Germany and the chief of NATO. In July, Greece expelled two Russian diplomats accused of giving money to groups against the name change. Russia objected to the expulsions as baseless.
The dispute over the name began when Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece argued that the use of the name was an insult to Greek history. Officials also said sharing the name could lead to a Macedonian claim on the Greek territory named Macedonia.
More than 100 United Nations member-countries recognize Macedonia officially as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The vote will ask Macedonians to decide if they want to join the EU and NATO by "accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?" If the majority vote "yes" the country will be renamed the "Republic of North Macedonia."
I'm Caty Weaver.
1.no doubt 无疑的；很可能的
No doubt someone had pulled a fast one on her over a procedural matter.
2.lead to 导致
A lack of prudence may lead to financial problems.
3.name change 改名；换名
The name change came in December, and later that month he married his second wife.
4.be accused of 被指控...
He was accused of stealing a small boy's bicycle
5.Mattis said, "We ought to leave the Macedonian people to make up their own minds.''
make up one's mind 决定...
The book is there for people to read and make up their own mind.
He just couldn't make up his mind either way.
6.The vote could open a path for the country to join NATO.
open a path 开辟...的道路
The research open a new path for the utilization of tea residue.
Nevertheless, he dauntlessly took action to open a great and eternal path of hope for all humankind.
美国国防部长吉姆·马蒂斯（Jim Mattis）指责俄罗斯企图干涉马其顿一项预订投票 。这次投票将为该国加入北约开辟道路 。
他说，毫无疑问，莫斯科向亲俄组织提供资金，以阻挠马其顿更名的投票 。更名能结束该国与希腊的争议，后者拥有同名的领土 。希腊一再阻挠马其顿加入北约 。
马其顿人将在9月30日投票决定是否更改国名 。今年6月，希腊与马其顿协商后同意马其顿更改国名 。作为回报，希腊将不再反对马其顿加入北约 。
早些时候，其他的西方领导人也曾指责俄罗斯干预更名问题，包括德国总理和北约秘书长 。今年7月，希腊驱逐了两名被控为反对更名的组织提供资金的俄罗斯外交官 。俄罗斯对这次驱逐表示反对，认为这是毫无依据的 。
自1991年马其顿从南斯拉夫独立时，国名的争议就产生了 。希腊认为使用这个国名是对希腊历史的冒犯 。官员们还指出，共享这一名字可能会导致马其顿对同名的希腊领土提出主权要求 。
这次投票要求马其顿人决定是否愿意通过“接受马其顿共和国与希腊共和国的决议”加入欧盟和北约 。如果多数选民赞成，该国将更名为“北马其顿共和国” 。