“All allies signed the accession protocol in February and then the ratification process started. The ratification process goes quite fast. Normally, at least last time when Montenegro joined it took one year. It’s not up to me, it’s up to the National Parliaments to decide how fast they can ratify the accession protocol. It would be great if all could finish by December, when we have the leaders’ meeting of NATO in London. But, if not, I expect it to happen as soon after,” Stoltenberg noted.
He pointed out that North Macedonia is on the track to be a full member and meets the NATO standards. He praised PMs Zaev and Tsipras again for their courage shown in solving the big name dispute.
In addition, Stoltenberg underlined that NATO enlargement was a great success story that has helped to spread democracy, stability and prosperity across Europe.
The agenda of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers includes progress on burden-sharing, defense spending, and the target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense. In addition, meetings will address Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty, as well as challenges and opportunities regarding NATO’s first-ever space policy, said Stoltenberg.