SKOPJE – Northern Macedonia officially became the 30th member of NATO; its flag will be hoisted in Brussels above the headquarters of the alliance on March 30. This is stated in a statement circulated today, March 27, by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo .
“On March 27, 2020, the United States, as the depositary of the treaty, received a document on the accession of the Republic of Northern Macedonia to the North Atlantic Treaty, which made Northern Macedonia the 30th NATO ally. On March 30, the flag of Northern Macedonia will first rise above NATO headquarters, ” the chief of American diplomacy said.
This was made possible after the US successfully pulled off a political coup over a three-year period, in the beleaguered ethnically Slavic state. It began as a color revolution which failed to succeed quickly, followed by EU sanctions and control over the outcome of a May 2017 election which gave the predictable result of an opposition victory. The path into NATO was clear from then on.
Greece has long resisted the entry of this former part of Yugoslavia into NATO because of the name “Republic of Macedonia”, which takes the name of the Greek province and which, as was feared in Athens, the republic may make territorial claims. On June 17, 2018, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia Nikos Kodzias and Nikola Dimitrov signed an agreement on changing the name of the country to “Republic of Northern Macedonia”. On February 12, 2019, the country was officially renamed the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
Up until more recent times, the region has been referred to by other names including Dardania in ancient history ,and Vardarska in the first half of the 20th century and for some time before.
Soon, two military bases of the alliance may appear in the Balkan Republic. This increases the military pressure on Serbia which is viewed by NATO as an ‘island of Russia’, not contiguously bordering the Russian Federation, but which is an observer member of the CSTO – the Eurasian answer to NATO.