Stoltenberg: NATO expects Macedonia to become member in February 2020

Stoltenberg: NATO expects Macedonia to become member in February 2020
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Western Balkans meeting together with EU foreign policy chief Federika Mogherini in Brussels, have expressed a strong support for the Prespa Agreement to be finalized and implemented, says a top diplomat of the Alliance.

Support was extended by all NATO members. The Greek minister said that the courage of Skopje and Athens in this process should be commended.

NATO expects the Prespa Agreement to be completed by mid-January. It paves the way for the accession process to press ahead in the Alliance for the signing of an accession protocol. NATO expects Macedonia to become a full-fledged member in the spring of 2020.

In the meantime, NATO members should ratify the accession protocol, a process which is expected to take 12-14 months.

During this time, Macedonia should submit a reform program and implement it during the ratification process.

Asked whether the NATO foreign ministers brought up the Nikola Gruevski’s escape case, the NATO diplomat said that the ministers discussed reform implementation and rule of law. The diplomat added that the implementation of these reforms went well and the ministers expressed confidence in the institutions tasked with investigating high-level corruption. Also, Macedonia was the ‘good news’ at the ministerial debate on the Western Balkans in Brussels, according to another NATO source.

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