Maasikas: North Macedonia NATO, EU integration backs regional stability

Undersecretary Matti Maasikas.
Undersecretary Matti Maasikas. Source: ERR

On 25 and 26 February, the Foreign Ministry's undersecretary for European affairs, Matti Maasikas, was on a visit to the North Macedonian capital of Skopje.

Mr Maasikas met with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and Vice-Prime Minister of North Macedonia for European Union Affairs Bujar Osman, and also held European Union consultations, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in a press release on Tuesday.

At the meeting with Foreign Minister Dimitrov and Vice Prime Minister Bujar, Mr Maasikas expressed Estonia's support of North Macedonia's ambitions to begin accession talks with the European Union as early as June this year.

"North Macedonia has made considerable progress with reforms, and today we were assured that the government will continue on the same course. I believe that the EU member states will appreciate this," Mr Maasikas was quoted as saying in the press release.

He also reaffirmed Estonia's readiness to support North Macedonia in carrying out reforms.

On behalf of members in the alliance, Mr Maasikas also welcomed the signing of NATO accession protocols by North Macedonia, which clears the way for the country to become the 30th member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"The enlargement of NATO helps increase security in the Balkans as well as in all of Europe. We are happy to welcome North Macedonia as a future member of the alliance—it helps bolster regional stability and shape a common space of values," Mr Maasikas said.

He also recognised the efforts of North Macedonia and Greece in the recently successful attempt to resolve their name dispute after 27 years of conflict.

"It is a remarkable achievement, and we hope that the advances that have taken place in the relations of the two countries will set an example for other countries in the region and beyond where settling complicated issues is concerned," the undersecretary said.

North Macedonia's accession to NATO and the EU will also increase its bilateral cooperation with Estonia, the ministry wrote. The Macedonians want to get an idea of how to build an e-state and learn from Estonia´s experiences in its integration with NATO and the EU.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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