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Baledwyr

U.S. sees Macedonia in NATO in mid-2020 after name change deal

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SARAJEVO (Reuters) - The United States expects Macedonia to join NATO in mid-2020 by which time its name change deal with Greece should be fully implemented despite Russian efforts to undermine it, the top U.S. official for the Western Balkans said on Tuesday.

 

Skopje’s agreement to change the country name to Republic of North Macedonia, ending perceptions that it held territorial claims to the Greek province of Macedonia, lifted a big obstacle to Macedonia joining NATO and the European Union, a move the West believes would help stem Russian influence in the region.

“I don’t think there is any reason not to believe that North Macedonia could become the 30th member of NATO as early as 18 months from now,” Matthew Palmer, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told Reuters in an interview in Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo.

“That is an entirely realistic target date,” he said, praising the breakthrough agreement in June between Greece and Macedonia as the “most significant positive development” in efforts by Western Balkans states to achieve EU and NATO ties.

He noted that NATO had already invited Macedonia to join the alliance and the process could move quickly upon full implementation of the name change accord, which must still be ratified by the Macedonian and Greek parliaments.

Still, Palmer voiced concern about the “malign influence” of Russia both in Macedonia and in other countries of the Western Balkans - Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo.

He accused Russia of trying to undermine governments and institutions in an effort to halt the region’s progress towards EU and NATO integration. Moscow has denied such accusations, accusing the West in turn of meddling in the Western Balkans.

“It’s not up to Russia to decide what Macedonia may or may not do in terms of how they associate themselves with European and Euro-Atlantic institutions,” Palmer said, referring to Russian criticism of the Macedonian government.

“Efforts to undermine the expressed will of the Macedonian public are destabilizing and damaging to the regional peace and security,” he added.

Palmer said the United States supported dialogue between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, which obtained independence after a 1998-99 war, and wanted them to return to negotiations.

 

“Agreement between Belgrade and Pristina would be a great step forward after (Macedonia’s name change deal),” he said, adding that Washington opposed the 100 percent tariffs imposed last month by Kosovo on Serbian and Bosnian goods.

Kosovo has said it will retain the tariffs until Belgrade recognizes it as an independent state.

Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Mark Heinrich

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-macedonia-nato-usa/u-s-sees-macedonia-in-nato-in-mid-2020-after-name-change-deal-idUSKBN1O31ZU

PERSONAL COMMENT:

The Republic of North Macedonia. Shit that's a big shift for the government in Pristina, I remember this issue flaring years ago and the "Macedonians" investing substantial sums of money in jazzing up their capital to look specifically like it is from Greek antiquity. They seemed adamant that they would keep that name. 

 

I guess dat sweet NATO love is a strong temptation. 

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I suspect it's the government that wants NATO and EU membership and is pushing for it, not the people. The referendum for the name change failed to reach a 50% turnout despite this being a highly hot-button issue. And even though there is clear public opposition to the name change, the referendum was a 90% in favor of the name change. Considering that opposition leaders openly called for a boycott of the referendum, it's pretty clear what happened. Even their prime minister, the one who is pushing in favor of this (Zaev) admits that it's under foreign pressure, not because the people want this change. It's especially two-faced and scummy of western politicians to accuse Russia of meddling, after multiple western political figures have openly called for Macedonia to change their name.

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I went to Skopje just two weeks ago with a couple of friends.

Its like going back 30-40 years into a city that's just an ill replica of the great cities of Europe. Everything is either in construction or falling apart. The comical amount of statues and massive advertisement panels on the many buildings in the center reminded me of Russia.

We had a great time, but it is a very curious country to go to. Not pretty, fun, and oh so cheap. Is this how you describe Balkan?

I'm rather wary of these countries joining the EU. The trade deals seem to do little for the general population and to mostly benefit the rich elite. Meanwhile the working population will just flood Europe with its cheap labor. I don't see how this is a good trade-off - unless you play the geopolitical long-game and try to stay remain relevant.

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7 hours ago, Thurr said:

I went to Skopje just two weeks ago with a couple of friends.

Its like going back 30-40 years into a city that's just an ill replica of the great cities of Europe. Everything is either in construction or falling apart. The comical amount of statues and massive advertisement panels on the many buildings in the center reminded me of Russia.

We had a great time, but it is a very curious country to go to. Not pretty, fun, and oh so cheap. Is this how you describe Balkan?

I'm rather wary of these countries joining the EU. The trade deals seem to do little for the general population and to mostly benefit the rich elite. Meanwhile the working population will just flood Europe with its cheap labor. I don't see how this is a good trade-off - unless you play the geopolitical long-game and try to stay remain relevant.

 

Even Moscow looks better these days. Sobyanin really did a number.

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Macedonia entering nato won t change situation at all in it 

but if macedonia enters EU at this point and time it could be very much death sentence for it

countries with far larger and better economies are struggling in EU at the moment macedonia will be completely overburdened from bureaucratic costs and its population will flood EU leaving macedonia which already has small population but surprisingly very slowly growing

 

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7 hours ago, Feanor said:

 

Even Moscow looks better these days. Sobyanin really did a number.

Definitely, but Moscow compares really well with some of Europe's bigger city. It is very clean and accessible. Cities like Brussel or London could learn from that.

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4 hours ago, Thurr said:

Definitely, but Moscow compares really well with some of Europe's bigger city. It is very clean and accessible. Cities like Brussel or London could learn from that.

 

feanors haven t been to moscow since 90s so you can t blame him for thinking moscow is still in 90s

moscow is by all accounts very modern city nowadays but off course it still has russian mafia and gang problems every so often even trough putin keeps all of them under a hard leash

 

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1 hour ago, ponasozis said:

 

feanors haven t been to moscow since 90s so you can t blame him for thinking moscow is still in 90s

moscow is by all accounts very modern city nowadays but off course it still has russian mafia and gang problems every so often even trough putin keeps all of them under a hard leash

 

 

I have been in Moscow "since the 90s". And it appears you completely misnuderstood what I wrote.

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London learning a lesson from Moscow! Pah! 

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1 hour ago, Baledwyr said:

London learning a lesson from Moscow! Pah! 

Consider liquor taxes in London. Consider them in Moscow. There's one lesson.

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20 hours ago, Baledwyr said:

Lalala! I'm not listening.

How much does your favorite scotch cost in England? Now how much does it cost in a country that doesn't tax it's alcohol into oblivion?

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59 minutes ago, Talinn said:

Isn't Finland's even higher?

Most Scandinavian countries have atrocious alcohol prices.

There's a whole tourism industry based on Scandinavians (and British people) travelling to the Germanic/Slavic countries  to become lavished.

The Netherlands is steadily joining them with all the extra taxes put onto all the good things in life.

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I may fly to Europe in June with my sister. But I'd pay for 2 rounds of carbon offsets for the trip. It's expensive.

Since I am a damn hippy I am pretty autistic about even going to the grocery store to grab food. But I really want to see Europe.
 

 

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30 minutes ago, Talinn said:

I may fly to Europe in June with my sister. But I'd pay for 2 rounds of carbon offsets for the trip. It's expensive.

Since I am a damn hippy I am pretty autistic about even going to the grocery store to grab food. But I really want to see Europe.
 

 

If you happen to travel to the Netherlands we should meet for coffee at the very least.

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Yep, definately. Think they were planning on going to Finland but it'd be nice to do a diplo meetup with you and Krotos

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On 12/9/2018 at 1:38 AM, Talinn said:

Yep, definately. Think they were planning on going to Finland but it'd be nice to do a diplo meetup with you and Krotos

 

go to finland

its amazing country

lots of swamps

and forests

and grumpy people

would recommend

 

 

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We have a Finnish member on diplo now. I spoke to him on discord a week ago. Cool guy. Likes alcohol. 

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