World Bulletin / News Desk
Macedonia is formally expected this week to be invited by NATO to join the alliance - though it will become a member only if it adopts a new name that has been agreed in principle with NATO- member Greece but has yet to be endorsed by Macedonia’s people.
Once it changes its name to the Republic of North Macedonia accession talks can begin. That will have to take place via a referendum and constitutional change in the former Yugoslav republic and by a parliamentary vote in neighboring Greece.
In the case of the EU, membership is a distant prospect. Serbia and Montenegro are much further down the road towards accession - and they have been given a target date of 2025.
After a period of political crisis, the new government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, elected in 2017, pushed for an agreement with Greece to solve the name dispute and the two sides have now agreed on the name of Republic of North Macedonia to open the door to NATO membership.
Macedonia and Greece signed the historic name deal on June 17 after a series of tough UN-sponsored talks.
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