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Old 02-07-2019, 06:39 AM   #11
Vangelovski
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I think the real cost of NATO will be longer term. They'll pile them up with defence loans because they'll have to modernise the military and ensure compatibility with NATO systems. Those loans will never be paid off and they'll only keep growing.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:12 AM   #12
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https://www.rferl.org/a/macedonia-na.../29757662.html

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Now That NATO Door Is Open, North Macedonia Gets To Show That It Belongs

NATO says it is now ready North Macedonia. But is North Macedonia ready for the Western security alliance?

At the center of a tug-of-war for influence between Russia and the West, Skopje signed a protocol on February 6 that could see another successor state of Yugoslavia become the military alliance's 30th member if the move is ratified by all current NATO members -- foremost among them Greece.

The signing was made possible after Athens and Skopje settled a decades-old name dispute through a compromise that changes Macedonia's moniker to the Republic of North Macedonia, thus allaying Greek fears of any claim to its region of Macedonia.

The only remaining hurdle could be cleared as soon as February 7, when Greece is expected to ratify the NATO Accession Protocol and truly open the path to the official name change.
Privileges And Costs

While membership in the world's most powerful military alliance has its privileges, it also has its costs. And many of North Macedonia's 2 million inhabitants are worried the price may be too steep.

North Macedonia's economy is struggling, the rule of law is weak, corruption is rampant in the public sector, the budget deficit is rising, and less than 1 percent of economic output is earmarked for defense spending, less than half of what NATO demands from its members.

"The major economic concern -- because it is so non-quantifiable -- is how the country will pay for implementing all of the changes it pledged to do in last year's Prespa Agreement with Greece, which was the price of admission for NATO and possibly EU membership," says Chris Deliso, an American political and security analyst based in what will soon be North Macedonia.

"These costs are expected to fall entirely on the Macedonian taxpayer. This is a question that no one can answer as it includes both tangible and intangible costs. But it is bound to be quite high and have long-term ramifications beyond the control of this or any future Macedonian government," he added, saying he's "optimistic" politicians will find a way to fulfill the financial obligations that come with NATO.

The landlocked country's accession into the alliance follows its former Yugoslav republic peers Montenegro, Albania, and Croatia.

Successive Political Crises

And though it may have caught up to some of its neighbors on one diplomatic front, Macedonia hasn't had the same fortune in terms of its economic development.

It has been rattled by successive political crises marked by intense rivalry between the political parties in recent years.

The battles and a two-year financial crisis have left a sputtering economy, unemployment above 20 percent, and an average monthly net salary of about $400, the lowest in the region.

The country's economy posted the slowest growth in the region last year, according to estimates from the World Bank, while the budget deficit widened to 2.85 percent of gross domestic product.

"The country finds itself in an extremely difficult economic, political, interethnic and military situation," says Biljana Vankovska, a professor at Saints Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.

Vankovska says the current administration not only lacks the funds needed to prepare the armed forces for NATO, it has even less experience in executing reforms to modernize a military that analysts at GlobalFirepower rank 118th out of 136th in the world.

Most Macedonians see NATO as "heaven on earth," but "it won't take long before the current government will prove unable to manage the extremely high expectations," Vankovska told RFE/RL.

"To [the] great disappointment of the Macedonian citizens, it will soon become clear that the NATO membership does not mean better life quality, rule of law, higher employment rate, internal stability, and progress," she added.

Bitter Pills

That would be another bitter pill to swallow for a country that has already been prodded to relinquish many of its cultural claims -- along with statues, signs, and memorials -- to the classical warrior-king Alexander the Great.

Macedonia's politicians are meanwhile playing up the "historic" NATO accession, one of the few triumphs they can point to in recent history.

"We're happy, and rightfully so, because we have secured lasting stability for our country. We've secured safety, security, and peace," Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said after the signing ceremony in Brussels.
"Progress and development cannot be stopped now. Our contemporaries and our contemporaries' children will live better, in a country and a region that beam with hope," he added.

A key hurdle should come on February 7 or in the following days, when Greece should ratify the NATO Accession Protocol.

'A Thumb In Russia's Eye'

For Ljupco Nestorovski, a pensioner from Skopje, the cost of that hope can't be counted solely in objective terms.

"The move is upsetting to the Russians -- it's like we're sticking a thumb in their eye," Nestorovski said.

North Macedonia's entrance into NATO -- and its drive toward European Union integration -- is seen as another in a series of blows to Moscow, which has battled to maintain influence in the Balkans.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has accused the alliance of pulling Macedonia into its sphere "by force."

But a majority of Macedonians support NATO entry, even if they have concerns.

Some expect membership will bring stability to part of the Balkan "powder keg" that has reeled from the political and financial crises that sparked four elections, none of which produced a stable Macedonian government.

Membership will increase investments as well as economic and security stability, says Dragan Dimitrovski, a state employee in Skopje.

"I hope that it will be safer in the country, the economy will be more stable, there will probably be real investments, not like those before," he said.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:13 AM   #13
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https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/ar...edonia-in-nato

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Trump Doesn’t Need North Macedonia in NATO

Letting a small country with a puny defense budget join the military alliance serves no purpose.

North Macedonia signed up this week to become the 30th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. This latest addition to the defense pact, more than any previous one, raises the question of what membership of the alliance really means.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson has argued that is makes no sense for Americans to die for Montenegro*or the Baltic*States, even though Article Five of the North Atlantic Treaty requires the U.S. to come to the two countries’ aid if they are ever attacked. Asked by Carlson about Montenegro, President Donald Trump expressed a worry that its “strong, aggressive people” could get the U.S. into trouble.

But Carlson’s position is too extreme: the previous waves of NATO expansion in the Baltic states, and then the Balkans, made strategic sense for the U.S. – as long as it viewed Russia as a long-term adversary.

The first round of new members dramatically constrained Russia’s ability to threaten Western Europe militarily. Even if Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can’t defend themselves, they increase the cost of attacking for Russia.

Now that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is dead, NATO’s eastern European members will be especially important: In the event of a major escalation with Russia, missiles capable of hitting any city in the west of Russia within seconds could be placed there.

In the Balkans, the logic is different. Yugoslavia was where NATO fought its first war, and it makes sense to consolidate its presence there to prevent a resurgence of fighting. If Serbia, with Russian help, ever made another bid for dominance in the region, Croatia’s membership would be a powerful counterbalance. Montenegro was worth taking in for the same reason –*even if its membership was more likely dictated by fears of a Russian takeover of the small Balkan state following what the authorities described as a failed Kremlin-backed coup in 2016.

I’m being generous here. Russia’s influence in the Balkans is exaggerated and is more a matter of tradition, wishful thinking and opportunism than any strategy with specific long-term goals.
In the case of North Macedonia, no reasonable degree of Russian alarmism would justify NATO expansion.

Russia has objected to the country’s membership and tried*to encourage nationalists to hinder it. But there are no political forces in North Macedonia that favor an alliance with Russia. Even the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, which has flirted with Putin at times, has long backed membership of NATO and the European Union. Unlike Montenegro, the country has only a small Russian diaspora and enjoys little Russian investment. The influence of Turkey –*still a NATO ally – is much stronger.*

It’s hard, if not impossible, to make any kind of geo-strategic case for North Macedonia’s NATO membership. The country didn’t play a major role in the Balkans conflict. It is tiny, landlocked and resource-poor. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s government hasn’t even tried to make the case. It’s interested in a NATO membership less as a security guarantee than as a de facto prerequisite for EU membership. All the former-communist EU members joined NATO before the bloc.*

There’s no formal requirement to join NATO before the EU, and Serbia, at least for now, is keen on being part of the EU but not NATO. But it remains the bloc’s effective security pillar despite all the recent talk of an EU military. North Macedonia has no interest in challenging this convention: Its economic future depends on moving fast along the European path.

For the U.S., which provides the security umbrella for NATO countries, North Macedonia looks to be just another freeloader. Its military spending will amount to 1.19 percent of gross domestic product this year – roughly the same level as in Germany, which Trump has repeatedly upbraided for its pacifism. In absolute terms, it’s a pittance, some $153 million in 2019 for a military with about 8,000 active personnel. NATO gains nothing by taking it in and stretching the umbrella a little more.

The alliance isn’t losing much, either. Once can hardly see Russia, or anyone else,*attacking Montenegro or North Macedonia. But the U.S. does need to consider what it gets out of an alliance with an increasing number of small members primarily interested using it as a step on the way to EU accession. It doesn’t necessarily make sense for the alliance to welcome new members simply because Russia doesn’t want them to join: The Kremlin is, on principle, against any kind of NATO expansion.

If the U.S. really wants to get its European partners to spend 2 percent or more of their GDP on defense, that goal won’t ever be accomplished by accepting more countries that don’t.
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:15 AM   #14
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https://www.rferl.org/a/greek-parlia.../29758337.html
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Greek Parliament Set To Vote On Macedonia’s NATO Protocol

The Greek Parliament is expected to vote on February 8 on the NATO accession protocol for neighboring Macedonia, bringing the end to a decades-old saga a step closer.

The vote comes after the former Yugoslav republic agreed with Greece last year to change its name to North Macedonia and following ratification of the deal by the countries’ parliaments.

The vote is expected to take place in the evening hours.

Greece's objections to Skopje’s use of the name Macedonia since the country's independence in 1991 complicated bids by the small Western Balkan nation to join the European Union and NATO.

Athens asserted that the use of the name Macedonia suggests Skopje has territorial claims to Greece's northern region of Macedonia.

Negotiations between Greece and Macedonia were protracted and difficult. Nationalist groups in both countries opposed the deal, with many saying it gave up too much to the other side.

However, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev were able to push through their accord as part of efforts to normalize relations.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov on February 6 signed a NATO accession agreement, a key step toward Skopje's becoming the military alliance's 30th member.

Macedonia said it expected that Greece would be the first NATO member to ratify the accession protocol, after which the country will begin to call itself by its new name.

Greek lawmakers are expected to approve its neighbor’s entry into NATO.Approval is expected to come from the other alliance members as well.
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“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop, and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all” - Mario Savio
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Old 02-08-2019, 12:36 AM   #15
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Macedonia’s name change favors EU/NATO:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyxgRktV6qs
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:10 AM   #16
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As expected, Greek parliament has ratified Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol that will allow Macedonia to become NATO’s 30th member under its new name.






Will the name “North Macedonia” catch on?



URL:
https://www.economist.com/graphic-de...donia-catch-on

WHAT’S IN a name? On January 25th, after months of negotiations, lawmakers in Greece voted to recognise its northern neighbour Macedonia as “North Macedonia”, thus ending a 28-year-old dispute with the tiny Balkan nation and paving the way for NATO and EU membership. The outcome was hailed as a historic achievement. But Macedonia is not the only country to have changed its name lately. In 2016, the Czech Republic adopted “Czechia” as the official short version of its name. And last year the African kingdom of Swaziland was renamed “eSwatini” by its all-powerful monarch.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:16 AM   #17
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The ceremony for raising the flag of NATO before the government building. There you have it. And the fucking idiots in the comments section says it all. Half of them treacherous minorities, the other half treacherous (former) Macedonians. Extreme situations. Extreme measures.

https://www.facebook.com/zaevzoran/v...4334570617152/
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Old 02-15-2019, 09:23 PM   #18
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You probably have already discussed this, but after joining NATO, (North?) Macedonia will be required to assist Albania against Serbia, if there ever is a skirmish between the two (say something Kosovo-related). I don't know if Macedonian soldiers would be willing to lay down their lives for such a cause.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:35 PM   #19
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As part of NATO, Macedonian soldiers would not have a choice but to assist. In any event, I do not see any skirmishes any time soon over Kosovo - unless Serbia invades Kosovo, which will not happen. If anything, Kosovo has been the more belligerent side. When Kosovo recently voted to create an official army, NATO (and EU) criticized the move.

Ukraine: NATO in the Constitution

URL:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/ukrain...tution/5668435

By Manlio Dinucci
Global Research, February 13, 2019

The day after the signature of NATO’s membership protocol with North Macedonia as its 30th member, Ukraine did something without precedent: it included in its Constitution the engagement to enter officially into NATO and the European Union at the same time.

The Introduction pronounces “the irreversible movement of Ukraine towards Euro-Atlantic integration”; articles 85 and 116 state that it is a fundamental duty of the parliament and the government to “obtain Ukraine’s full membership of NATO and the EU”; article 102 stipulates that “the President of Ukraine is the guarantor of the strategic decisions of the State aimed at obtaining full membership of NATO and the EU”.

Last edited by Carlin15; 02-18-2019 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 02-28-2019, 11:05 AM   #20
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Romania begins ratifying the NATO protocol and gives strong EU support

Заев-Данчила: Романија ја почна ратификацијата на протоколот за НАТО и дава силна поддршка за ЕУ

URL:
https://sitel.com.mk/zaev-danchila-r...oddrshka-za-eu

Со храбри и внимателни политички чекори ги отворивме вратите на НАТО и забрзано се движиме кон европската унија. Премиерот Заев кој од денеска престојува во официјална посета на Романија на средбата со премиерката Данчила се заблагодари ратификација на Протоколот за пристап во НАТО во Домот на пратениците на романскиот Парламент и за поддршката во процесот на НАТО интеграциите. Премиерот изрази надеж дека во јуни, земјава ќе добие датум за старт на преговорите со Европската унија

Романската премиерка уште еднаш ја потврдила позицијата на Романија за продолжување на процесот на проширување на Европската Унија. Таа на средбата со Заев изразила очекување во Јуни Брисел да ги потврди заложбите за проширување и да ја охрабри земјава да продолжи со исполнување на реформите.

По средбата со романската премиерка, Заев се сретна и со претседателот на романскиот дом на пратениците и заменик претседателот во Романскиот Сенат.
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