Macedonia gets NATO accession guidelines
The document, sent by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, includes a number of political, economic, security and judicial conditions that should be implemented by late April 2020.
According to NATO guidelines, as part of the reforms, Macedonia should deliver a number of conditions related to security, the justice system, procurement procedures, and must allocate a budget for the joint funding of NATO's programs.
Macedonia and NATO are expected to start accession talks next month that may last until April 2020, when NATO member countries and the Macedonian government are expected to ratify the decision.
On July 11, NATO leaders agreed to invite Macedonia to begin accession talks to become NATO's 30th member state, though its people must first back the deal with Greece in a referendum. Under an accord signed by Greece and Macedonia on June 17, the official name of the country will become the Republic of North Macedonia.
Macedonia is formally called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) by the United Nations. Macedonia is also the name of a northern province in Greece. Athens is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.
The solving of the name row that has existed between two countries is seen as the main obstacle Macedonia has to overcome in order to make progress towards the European Union (EU) and NATO integration. ■