Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska said that she expects Greece to receive the NATO protocol for accession of Macedonia as soon as the Zaev – Tsipras treaty is ratified by both countries.

Greek politicians are discussing how to approach the ratification of the treaty in case the Macedonian Parliament adopts the amendments that rename Macedonia into North Macedonia, which Zaev’s and Sekerinska’s Government expects to happen in a matter of weeks. Greek politicians have initially announced a simultaneous ratification of the Zaev – Tsipras treaty and the protocol to allow Macedonia to join NATO, and with that to raise the veto Greece has imposed on Macedonia’s NATO membership since 2008. But, as Tsipras faced opposition in the Parliament, it is now expected that Greece will first try to ratify the treaty, and only later approve Macedonia’s NATO membership.

NATO must first prepare the protocol. All NATO representatives, including the Secretary General, have said that the protocol will be prepared at the moment when the Prespa treaty is ratified by both parties. We expect to implement our part of the obligations timely and we also expect Greece to do the same, said Sekerinska.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently called on both countries to complete the ratification process until February 15th. According to Sekerinska once the Greek Parliament ratifies the treaty, which should happen after the Macedonian Parliament amends the Constitution, NATO will prepare the protocol.

This means that practically beginning in February Macedonia will accomplish its strategic goal. We will sit at the table where the most important decisions regarding peace and stability in our region and the world are made, said Sekerinska.