Ambassador Christian Thimonier said that France will ratify Macedonia’s NATO accession protocol by the end of the year. France is one of the remaining NATO member states that are yet to complete the ratification process.

Spain is the main issue, with another inconclusive election in this country complicating the ratification process. Macedonia is hoping that the Spanish Congress will ratify the protocol before February, when the Macedonian Parliament dissolves for the early general elections. If not, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has broached the idea of postponing the elections to make sure Macedonia has a Parliament ready to ratify the protocol as soon as Spain does so.

Ambassador Thimonier was also asked about the Mini Schengen initiative, which was hastily put in place after it was clear that France will veto the opening of EU accession talks for Macedonia and Albania.

The message from President Emmanuel Macron in Sofia was that any form of cooperation in the region of Western Balkans is welcome, because as we can see, it can only bring positive results and France supports this type of cooperation, the Ambassador said during an event at the French WWI cemetery in Skopje to mark the Armistice Day.