"Detailed accession talks will now begin to help your country make its final preparation for its full membership", Stoltenberg told Zaev on the sidelines of the Western alliance's summit in Brussels on July 12. "They can not get both", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a news conference, Reuters writes.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that despite the disagreement with the change of name of the country, many inhabitants of Macedonia, it is a requirement for joining the Alliance.
Asked about the referendum which Macedonia will hold, as foreseen under its agreement with Greece, the official explained that for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation what mattered is that the name agreement is implemented.
Greece's fragile left-right coalition under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently lost two lawmakers who quit in protest against the Macedonia accord, bringing his parliamentary majority to 152 out of a total of 300 seats. They claim it implies territorial ambitions on its own northern province of the same name, which was the birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, and usurps ancient Greek heritage and history.
In his opinion, this is a strong signal that "NATO's doors are still open". Skopje's road ahead, however, will remain bumpy, because opposition groups in both Macedonia and Greece have heavily contested the deal.
Greece will expel two Russian diplomats and ban entry to another two for activities inconsistent with their status, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Wednesday. Macedonia prime minister Zoran Zaev hailed the invitation but noted objections from Moscow.
Leaders underlines that full implementation of all prescribed internal procedures with respect to the agreement on the solution of the name issue is a condition for a successful conclusion of the accession process. According to a highly placed source within the Greek government that spoke to Ekathimerini, Greece has continually endeavored to get along with Russian Federation, but they feel it has been a one-sided effort. Such remarks led to the decision of the United States ambassador to Estonia, James D. Melville Jr.to resign last month.
Moscow will respond to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece by expelling two Greek diplomats, RIA news agency said, citing a member of the upper house of parliament, Andrei Klimov.
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