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N. Macedonia clears last hurdle to NATO membership

N. Macedonia clears last hurdle to NATO membership Author: UK Ministry of Defence, Licence: Creative Commons

SKOPJE (North Macedonia), March 18 (SeeNews) – Spain has ratified the protocol on North Macedonia's accession to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), clearing the path for the Southeast European country to join the bloc, North Macedonia's government said on Wednesday.   

Spain was the last NATO members to ratify North Macedonia's NATO accession protocol, prime minister Oliver Spasovski said, as quoted in a government statement.

"Today you have all rights to feel proud," he added.

"The Spanish Senate has just ratified North Macedonia’s accession to NATO. With that, all Allies have welcomed our soon-to-be 30th member," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a Twitter post.

In February 2019, the protocol was ratified by the Greek parliament after it was signed by NATO, following a historic agreement between Skopje and Athens to change the name of the former Yugoslav republic.

Athens had blocked North Macedonia’s attempts to join NATO and the EU for 27 years over the country's name.

According to Greece, the previous name Republic of Macedonia implied territorial claims on the Greek northernmost province of the same name.