Dimitrov: Macedonia to begin negotiations with NATO this week

Nikola Dimitrov; Photo: European Union

LONDON – Macedonia expects to be allowed to start negotiations on NATO membership this week, Macedonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov said today.

“We have great hopes, I think that everything is ready and should happen this week. We should be ready to start membership negotiations,” Dimitrov said on the sidelines of the Western Balkans Summit in London, Reuters reports.

Asked if there was a fear that Russia could interfere in the process of Macedonia’s entry into NATO, Dimitrov said that his country would have been a member of that alliance as early as 2008 if there had been no name dispute about the with Greece.

“We firmly believe that (membership) is not against any other country and will have a very calming effect on the stability of the region. Of course, until this happens, we will be concerned about every possible obstacle,” Dimitrov said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in June that NATO would probably approve membership talks with Macedonia at a NATO summit held this week in Brussels.