* Re James A. Baker III's column (Opinion, April 30), I would like to emphasize that Greece fully agrees with his conclusion that a deterioration of the situation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) may, eventually, destabilize Europe, a loathsome prospect for all Balkan countries and for neighboring Greece. Therefore, the assumption that Greece might feel tempted to become actively involved in this nightmare, or that its attitude toward regional security is adventurous, seems to be a direct contradiction.
Through specific initiatives, Greece has indeed repeatedly and unequivocally insisted that relations with its neighbors should be based, first and foremost, on unconditional respect of each other's sovereignty and of existing borders. It is the Constitution of FYROM, and not that of Greece, which harbors expansionist designs and provides for "a Greater Macedonia" as well as for the "protection of Macedonian brothers in neighboring countries," an alarming statement indeed, as the Bosnian example vividly demonstrates.
Every informed student of Balkan history knows that, regardless of the comparative size and might of countries involved, permissiveness can encourage claims which lead to tension and, eventually, instability. The Greek government was forced to impose economic countermeasures against FYROM: They were never meant as a punishment, but uniquely as a reminder to all sides that nobody, least of all Greece, can afford a situation which may lead to another Bosnia.
Confirming Greece's fears, the attorney general of the European Union, in his April 6 proposal regarding the case of the European Union Commission versus Greece in the matter of the aforementioned countermeasures, seems indeed to agree that a threat to peace in this context cannot be excluded. The government of FYROM, however, remains unimpressed in its intransigence and nationalistic aspirations.
Greece keeps stressing its willingness to normalize relations, to assist its northern neighbor's economy and to guarantee international borders. All we ask in return is what anyone would ask from a neighbor: an end to nationalistic policies and a start to active cooperation in quest of a solution that will safeguard stability and peace. Instead of encouraging the Skopje government to continued intransigence, we should rather convince them that further stalling toward the U.N.-sponsored efforts for a settlement is in nobody's interest.
Ambassador of Greece, Washington
* Macedonia, like the Americas, Europe, Scandinavia and the Balkans, is a region. The use of "Macedonian" as a nationality was an invention of Tito in 1944. Tito created a false Macedonian ethnic consciousness among Yugoslavia's south Slavic citizens as part of a communist campaign against Greece to gain control of the whole region of Macedonia.
Baker is wrong to suggest that NATO can avoid yet another tragic "might have been" by giving a warning to NATO member Greece--that any adventurism in Macedonia would be considered a threat to European peace and stability and would be met with the full force of the alliance. Greece has no claim to the territory of the Skopje regime and would welcome trade ties and good neighbor relations, if the regime changes its name and commits itself to constitutional and political guarantees ensuring that it has no territorial claims toward a neighboring state.
Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov can end the problem overnight by reinstating the name the Skopje area had in 1944--Vardar Banovina, the name that Gligorov grew up with before Tito changed it.
JOHN VASSILIADES, President
United Cypriots of Southern Calif.