North Macedonia ratifies NATO membership


The Balkan country is nearing the status of full NATO member (it will become the 30th one), as Greece lifted its blockage after the 10-year name dispute was solved.


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“Today we witnessed history in the making, by making our future far more certain and predictable. North Macedonia Parliament just ratified the North Atlantic Treaty. We won’t walk the path alone anymore. We will have 29 @NATO friends and allies beside us. #StrongerTogether” (Picture source: Twitter account of Nicola Dimitrov)


On Tuesday, Feb.11, the Macedonian members of parliament unanimously ratified an agreement to make their country the 30th NATO member. All 114 lawmakers present in the 120-seat parliament voted in favor of ratification. A NATO flag was raised outside the building during a brief ceremony. The vote took place several weeks ahead of schedule because the current parliament is set to dissolve at the end of the week, ahead of an election planned for April 12. Spain is the only existing NATO member that has not yet approved North Macedonia’s accession; its parliament is expected to hold a ratification vote in March.

"By joining this alliance, we are not simply joining an international organization," Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski told lawmakers ahead of the vote. "Membership of the world's most powerful military-political alliance is a privilege, but also a huge responsibility.'' A NATO flag was raised in front of the parliament building during the short ceremony.

This membership has become possible since Greece dropped its opposition after the former Yugoslav republic agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia instead of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. To reward this move, Greece agreed to drop its objections to its neighbor joining NATO and the EU.


 

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