Macedonia aspires to join NATO to reduce Russia's influence

  • Jan Merička
  • 15.8.2017 18:10

On Tuesday 8 August, the Macedonian government said it would step up its efforts to join the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) due to fears of Russia trying to influence domestic Macedonian politics and address security issues. 

Zoran Zaev's new government has committed to starting reforms in the field of judicial independence and the rule of law within nine months, and also has the ambition to rectify the dispute with Greece over the official name of Macedonia. From the overall perspective, Macedonia seeks to follow the example of Montenegro, which became the 29th NATO member on 5 June of this year. However, according to Dimitar Beceva, an expert at Harvard University, Macedonia's effort may not be immediately heard out, mainly because of Greece, who has not indicated any possible concessions in the long-standing Greek-Macedonian disputes. Other signs showing the pro-Western orientation of the current Macedonian government include joint military exercises with the US, as well as an attempt to start accession negotiations with the EU. Further enlargement of NATO towards Russia could further exacerbate disputes between NATO and Russia, who are both trying to consolidate their position in the Balkans.

 

About author: Jan Merička

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