Macedonia has decided in favor of joining NATO since getting independence, and this policy is supported by most of its citizens. This was the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev response to Moscow's warnings that Macedonia's entry into the North Atlantic alliance could have negative impact on the regional security and bilateral relations.
"Macedonia has been strictly defined in favor of NATO membership since the independence of the 1990s, and this enjoys the absolute support of its citizens. Our clear choice is Euro-Atlantic integration," Zaev is quoted as saying by the Serbian Tanjug agency.
On March 20, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Grushko met in Moscow with Ambassador of Macedonia to Russia Goce Karajanov. During the exchange of views on the situation in the Balkans, the Russian side stressed the negative impact of the plans to involve the Republic of Macedonia in NATO on regional security and bilateral relations.
As EADaily reported earlier, the prime minister of Macedonia proclaimed implementation of standards for the country's accession to NATO and the EU as one of the priorities of his policy. Since his appointment as prime minister, Macedonia has accelerated negotiations with neighboring Greece over its own name. Being a member of NATO and the EU, Greece is blocking the candidacy of Macedonia, since it believes that the former Yugoslav republic can claim part of its territory - the northern Greek province of Macedonia.