|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the Republic of Macedonia
The accession of Republic of Macedonia to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is currently pending. NATO's invitation to the Republic of Macedonia was blocked by Greece at the 2008 Bucharest summit. NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute. Greece feels that its neighbor's constitutional name implies territorial aspirations against its own region of Macedonia. After the veto, Greece was sued in the International Court of Justice, over the use of "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as an acceptable option to enter NATO with, while Greece counterargues that it was a collective decision of NATO not to invite Macedonia and therefore the interim accord signed between the two countries was not violated. Greece may also block Macedonia's accession to the European Union over the naming dispute. Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked Macedonia and Greece to find an "acceptable solution" to the dispute, so that Macedonia will be free to join NATO. In 2014, prior to its 65th anniversary since its creation, NATO announced that it would not be offering any new countries membership into the organization that year. Some analysts, such as Jorge Benitez of the Atlantic Council think tank, argued that this reluctance was partly due to the new security climate after Russia's annexation of Crimea.
A poll following the summit showed that 82.5% of citizens surveyed opposed changing the constitutional name in order to join NATO. NATO membership in general is supported by 85.2% of the population. Elections were called following the 2008 summit, resulting in further support for the center-right pro-NATO party, VMRO–DPMNE. The elections were marred by violence that was criticized by NATO members.
The country joined the Partnership for Peace in 1995, and commenced its Membership Action Plan in 1999, at the same time as Albania. Participating in the 1999 NATO intervention in FR Yugoslavia, it received aid from NATO in dealing with refugees fleeing from Kosovo. In August 2001, NATO intervened in the 2001 insurgency, during which rebel Albanian group, the National Liberation Army, fought government forces. In Operation Essential Harvest, NATO troops joined with the local military to disarm rebel forces following a cease-fire agreement.
Following an agreement in June 2018 to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia, NATO agreed to consider extending an invitation to the country to join at its summit on 11–12 July. On 11 July 2018, NATO invited Macedonia to begin membership talks, saying the country could join the organization once the naming issue was resolved.
|Partnership for Peace||19 November 1995|
|Individual Partnership Action Plan|
|Membership Action Plan||19 April 1999|
|Invitation to join||11 July 2018|
5. Macedonia Responds to Greece, New York Times Macedonia Responds to Greece