Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary-General, said on Tuesday, he hoped the ratification of the accession protocol for North Macedonia would be finished by December and that Skopje would become a full Alliance’s member during its London summit, the Beta news agency reported.
Stoltenberg broke the news ahead of the two-day defence ministers' meeting for defence in Brussels, attended by North Macedonia’s Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska.
“It does not depend on me how fast the protocol will be ratified in each member state, but it will be good if they end the process before the London meeting. If that doesn’t happen, I expect it soon afterwards,” Stoltenberg said as quoted by the MIA news agency.
Stoltenberg said that North Macedonia met all standards for NATO membership, praising the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras for agreeing on Former Yugoslav Republic new name.
The agreement signed in Jun 2018 opened door to Skopje for NATO membership and the start of the European Union’s accession negotiation after 27-year-long Athens’ disapproval.
“NATO enlargement is a big, successful story which helps prosperity, stability and democracy in Europe,” Stoltenberg said.