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Balkan nation name change enters force

February 11, Macedonia’s Government started taking the tablets with the old name off the governmental buildings
11:49, 13 February 2019

Republic of North Macedonia
AFP

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has formally renamed itself the Republic of North Macedonia, Vlada reported.

The amendments, which changed the name of the country, became the law with its publication in the official gazette.

Monday, February 11, Macedonia’s Government started taking the tablets with the old name off the governmental buildings.

Related: Trump doesn’t need North Macedonia in NATO

Since Yugoslavia broke up, Macedonia had some disputes with Greece due to its name. Official Athens insisted that Macedonia changed its name to prevent confusion with similarly-named Greek province with borders with it.

Under Greek request, Macedonia joined the UN in 1993 under the name Former Yugoslav Republic. Besides, Greece was blocking Macedonia’s membership in the EU and NATO.  

Related: NATO to add Macedonia despite Putin warning

After Macedonia’s Parliament approved the Government’s proposal to amend the Constitution regarding the name change, on February 6, permanent representatives of all NATO member states signed a protocol of accession of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO.  

The next step on a ten-year path of the country to the North Atlantic alliance is the ratification of the protocol by the parliaments of NATO member states. Then, it will be passed to Macedonia’s Parliament for ratification. Greece’s Parliament has already done it.

Related: Northern Macedonia joins NATO

The process is expected to come to the end this year. Then, the country will officially become NATO’s 30th member at the December summit of the alliance in London.

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