Will Macedonia Join NATO and Defy Russia in The Balkans?

NATO has extended a formal invitation to Macedonia to be a part of the western military alliance. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) has written to the Republic of Macedonia to stimulate the accession of Macedonia in NATO which is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. This move is being seen as an attempt by NATO to increase its reach in the Balkans and put up a greater defiance to Russia.

NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance of European and American nations with 29 member states at present. NATO was established in 1949 in Washington and is currently a big contributor of troops in the Afghanistan war.

As reported by PressTV, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the door of NATO is open and will always remain open for Macedonia. He said that the NATO member nations have agreed to invite Macedonia during the NATO summit on Wednesday in Brussels. If Macedonia joins NATO then it would be the 30th nation to be a part of the elite military alliance of the west.

Macedonia’s inclusion into NATO was long held up given the ‘name dispute’ between Macedonia and Greece. However, recently Macedonia and Greece have resolved their disputes which opens the door for Macedonia to become the 30th member nation of NATO.

The US askes NATO nations to spend more on defence

The US has asked members states of the NATO to increase their defence budgets. Donald Trump during the NATO summit demanded that other nations in NATO should be increased their defence budget to 4% of their respective GDPs. The NATO’s goal is to convince members states to spend 2% of their GDP on defence which is half of that demanded by the US.

On the first day of the Brussels NATO summit, Donald Trump slammed other members for not spending enough on defence. This demand seems to be in line with his harsh tirades against the member nations on the first day.

According to Al Jazeera, a US diplomat clarified that this is not a formal proposal from the US Presidential but recommendatory in nature. He said that the US President has urged all the members of the 29 members group to increase their defence budget. During a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing NATO summit, the US top diplomat said that all allies are increasing their defence expenditures. He added that as much as 8 member nations of the NATO have committed to increasing the defence budget to at least 2 % of their GDP and by 2024 all allied of the NATO aim to do so.

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