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Macedonia Takes a Major Step by Joining NATO

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Macedonia Takes a Major Step by Joining NATO

Macedonia on 6th February took a step closer to NATO membership by endorsing an accession paper and solving its long-time dispute with Greece over its name. NATO members signed an accord with Macedonia; thereby, allowing the tiny ex-Yugoslav republic to become the 30th alliance member of the US-led alliance. Now the deal is waiting to be approved by allied-governments. The approval process usually takes about a year, and the United States has stated that it expects Macedonia, which is now officially known as North Macedonia under the terms of its name deal with Greece might formally join the alliance in 2020.

During the formal signing of the NATO accession protocol, Macedonia’s Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov welcomed and recognized the moment and stated that once Macedonia becomes a part of the NATO alliance it won’t be walking alone. Dimitrov further stated that Macedonia stands along with the 29 allies and they are ready to undertake the duties that emerge from the full membership in NATO. He made this announcement after NATO ambassadors endorsed the protocol.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General stated that it was a “historic day” as it will allow Macedonia to become the 30th alliance member. NATO and the EU appreciated the move of adding a new member as it would be bringing more stability to the region i.e. in the Balkans; however, the alliance’s growth into the region has been resisted by Moscow. Moreover, adding a new member focuses on the fact that all European countries that are a part of the NATO alliance have fulfilled the entrance criteria.
Stoltenberg stated that admission of Macedonia proves that NATO’s door remains open for nations that meet the standards of NATO and comply with the NATOs value of democracy, individual liberty, and the rule of law.
Russia states that by taking in Balkan members, the alliance is threatening the security in the region. But Dmitrov stated that Macedonia’s decision would strengthen regional balance, mirroring the view of Western nations which see NATO and EU membership as the best possible way to preserve peace in the Balkans after the fierce breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

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