SKOPJE – The Macedonia’s new government is stepping up its efforts to join NATO, the country’s defence minister Radmila Šekerinska said in an interview for Bloomberg.
Ever since the new government was elected, the new Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is trying to rebuild regional ties with Greece, with whom Macedonia have a naming dispute since 1991, after the split from Yugoslavia, when it called itself Republic of Macedonia, writes Bloomberg.
The dispute is the reason why Greece blocked Macedonian attempts to join NATO.
One of the reasons behind Macedonian eagerness for membership could be found in Russian meddling into internal affairs of the countries of the region.
Speaking about Russian attempts for influence in key political and security areas, even before the new government was elected, Šekerinska believes that they are not helpful and she considers them to be unfriendly.
“We believe Macedonian NATO membership can put an end to these attempts.”
The naming dispute is not the only problem that needs to be solved before becoming a full member of NATO.
Macedonia needs to resolve few more issues, especially ones regarding the rule of law and judicial independence.
“We’ll stay committed to making these reforms a reality, but we’ll keep asking NATO member states to appreciate these efforts, take into account the results and make decisions as soon as possible,” Šekerinska said.