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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conditionally invites Macedonia to start membership talks

13 July 2018

Leaders said their decision was rooted in a 2008 declaration when Macedonia was invited to join, only to be blocked by Greece over the long-running name dispute.

NATO accession talks are much shorter than the EU's (this is why NATO calls them "talks", in contrast with the EU's "negotiations"), a NATO official told EURACTIV when asked to describe the next steps for Macedonia ahead of its full accession.

At a joint press conference in Brussels alongside Georgian President Giorgi Margverlashvili, Jens Stoltenberg said that the allied leaders reaffirmed the move on Wednesday.

The deal to end the name dispute foresees Macedonia renamed North Macedonia in exchange for Greece dropping objections to its northern neighbor joining NATO and the European Union.

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Despite this latest development, the same sources note that Greece continues, in line with its long-standing policy, to want good cooperative relations with Russian Federation and to promote friendship between the two peoples, but they add that this can only be the case if both countries respect each other's sovereignty. Montenegrin Defense Minister Predrag Boskovic insisted that this was not a betrayal of Serbia, Balkan Insight writes.

"NATO membership brings stability and security", she added. "From there on, all states and authorities should respect global law, but also us, the Greek government and the Greek state".

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.

"Even as Trump has railed against North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the United States military has continued to lead the alliance in combating what is now commonly referred to as Russian hybrid warfare: asymmetric and nontraditional military capabilities used to destabilize democracies through cyberattacks, disinformation, and propaganda campaigns", The New York Times writes.

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Athens and Moscow have traditionally had good relations.

Greece has ordered the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and barred the entry of two others for allegedly undermining national security, local media report.

In response, Russian Federation said it would take similar action with regards to Greek diplomats in Moscow.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conditionally invites Macedonia to start membership talks