Thursday, May 30, 2024

Close to London, far from NATO

North Atlantic Alliance for 70 years. For two days, Macedonia has been part of the historic NATO summit with its 29 members. Our flag is already flying with the rest of the flags.

Author: Katerina Topalova

Nevertheless, despite the powerful YES to the alliance’s biggest force, the country will not celebrate in London. Only one ratification is missing for full membership. As a consolation prize, in the final declaration of the summit – only a welcome for Macedonia as the 30th member. 

Until now there wasn’t a NATO summit that our country followed as relaxed as this time, but at the same time, no summit has been closer to membership and at the same time farther from full membership.

Spain has its problems. The consequences of Madrid’s inability to form a Government was felt even 2977 kilometers in Skopje. The country cannot think of our NATO membership while chasing its own demons. Macedonia is once again in the waiting room of an institution that has been a strategic goal for decades. Can we stay indefinitely at the place where we have been nailed for years? 

Probably not! Spain did not ratify the document for its own reasons. It will not rush to form a Government for our own sake, but for its own sake. The first push came from Brussels. A few days ago, Madrid was warned, along with several other members, that it had not yet submitted the budget. Such a request by the Union is likely to speed things up in Spain, and thus accelerate the joy in Macedonia.

The scream of the neighbors

Every progress of the country is followed closely from our neighborhood. Although NATO membership is a consequence of the Prespa Treaty signing, politicians in Greece, a year and a half after the document enters into force, are wondering how to annul it in order for Macedonia to stand by. Former Prime Minister Samaras is one of a group who see urgent ways to respond.

This time, these cries can hardly make a problem in the process of ratification and full membership, but they certainly must be followed. This rhetoric as a populist measure can only bring points to Samaras, but in no way favors bringing together the two nations who have to live close to each other after overcoming the problem.

There are and will be provocations. Macedonia must follow but also work hard not to encounter a banal problem that will prevent it from achieving its decade-long dream.

We will not celebrate in London. That is for sure. Let us hope that as a New Year’s gift we will receive the Spanish ratification that will bring us into NATO!

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