Sunday, 22 July, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officially ready to accept Macedonia into the Alliance

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference ahead of a two days NATO summit in Brussels NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gives a press conference ahead of a two days NATO summit in Brussels
Steven Clarke | 13 July, 2018, 22:53

The invitation to the small Balkan state of two million people comes despite opposition from Russian Federation, which sees its influence in the region diminishing.

Athens will expel the two Russian diplomats and ban entry to two others on suspicion that they tried to undermine an accord clinched between Greece and neighboring Macedonia last month, the Greek daily Kathimerini reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Athens insisted Macedonia should change its name because it has its own northern province of the same name, which in ancient times was the cradle of Alexander the Great's empire - a source of intense pride for modern-day Greeks. Last month, reports emerged that Warsaw has offered to contribute up to $2 billion (1.7 million euros) to host a US tank unit on its soil.

Macedonia's name has led to a dispute with Greece since Macedonia became independent with the breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

As reported by PressTV, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the door of NATO is open and will always remain open for Macedonia.

During the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev alluded to the fact that he was aware of Russian Federation being responsible for some of the protests that took place outside of his parliament.

Mueller team indicts 12 Russian agents for hacking in 2016 election season
The announcement came just before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. Rosenstein planned to detail the new charges at a mid-day press conference.

In the case of the European Union, membership is a distant prospect. It was not immediately clear if they already departed. However, NATO also warned that "solution of the name issue is a condition for a successful conclusion of the accession process".

Thousands of Macedonians take part in a protest over a compromise solution in Macedonia's dispute with Greece over the country's name in Skopje, Macedonia, June 2, 2018. "They can not get both", Stoltenberg further said.

After the accession protocol is signed, it is sent to all 29 member states, who will need to ratify it according to their national procedures. That includes a referendum, which is set to take place later this year.

Russia, NATO's most prominent rival, has bemoaned the possible addition of another alliance member - reviving Cold War-style tensions.

Mevlut Cavusoglu (May-VLOOT CHA-voosh-oh-loo) insists "Turkey is a sovereign country" and says its acquisition of the S400 anti-aircraft system came only because it needed such a system and ran out of other options, such as from the United States.

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