Yesterday, October 22, 2019, the U.S. Senate voted to ratify Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol. On the Senate floor, the vote on the accession of Macedonia to NATO passed overwhelmingly with 91 “Yeas,” 2 “Nays,” and 7 Senators not voting. The vote took place only two weeks after the visit of Secretary Michael R. Pompeo to Ohrid, Macedonia – the first visit of a U.S. Secretary of State in nearly two decades.
The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the voice of more than half a million Americans of Macedonian descent, welcomed the vote and applauds the U.S. Senate for ratifying the protocol and furthering Macedonia’s long-awaited and well-deserved accession into NATO.
Macedonia should have been invited to join NATO at the 2008 Bucharest Summit; however, Greece vetoed this demanding that Macedonia change its name. While a 2011 International Court of Justice verdict found Greece in violation of international law by vetoing Macedonia’s NATO membership, the Zaev leadership in Skopje obliged with the signing of the unconstitutional Prespa Agreement, fundamentally altering the country’s name and identity, in order to join NATO. UMD criticized the long and arduous process, and remains strongly against the Prespa Agreement.
UMD calls upon Iceland, France, the Netherlands, and Spain to follow the U.S. Senate’s lead and to ratify Macedonia’s membership. Once these member states deposit their ratifications with Treaty Office in Washington, D.C., Macedonia can complete this historic process of becoming the 30th full-fledged NATO member and ally.