After years of stalling, Greece oks Macedonia in NATO

Austria Macedonia

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech during a parliament session in Athens, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

Lawmakers late February 8 voted 153-140 to ratify the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession protocol for neighboring Macedonia that must now also be approved by all other alliance members. In a 153-140 vote, Greek lawmakers backed the protocol that now must be approved by other members. I feel we have done our patriotic duty, amid threats and blackmails.

After holding up its admission for years, Greece became the first nation Friday to ratify Macedonia's membership of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation after the two states resolved a decades-old name dispute last month.

Under NATO alliance rules, Macedonian membership now has to be approved by each member state, giving Greek lawmakers the opportunity for another round of verbal jousting over the controversy.


Since 1991, Athens has objected to its neighbour being called Macedonia because Greece has a northern province of the same name.

"I'd like to welcome North Macedonia, a country friendly to Greece, a country that must be an ally in efforts to establish security, stability and peace in the region".

He was referring partly to the many ongoing reforms in the country - but also to the fact that all 29 parliaments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries will have to ratify the protocol before Macedonia can become a full member.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union believe Macedonia's membership will enhance stability in the Balkans, while the alliance's expansion into the region has been opposed by Russian Federation.

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