Against all votes: NATO greets North Macedonia as 30th member despite failed accession referendum

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07-02-19 08:22:00,

The Balkan country of North Macedonia is set to officially become the 30th member of NATO on the back of a decades-long spat with Greece, a failed popular vote, and allegations that the US manipulated local politicians.

NATO and North Macedonia signed an accession protocol on Wednesday, meaning that the former Yugoslav republic will officially join the military bloc. Each member will now need to ratify the bid, but it is safe to say that the country’s 10-year accession saga is now over.

North Macedonia is the fourth Balkan country to join NATO following Croatia, Albania and Montenegro. The three states met no resistance while applying for membership, but Skopje did, largely because of the country’s name. Greeks have objected to Macedonia’s name since it ceded from Yugoslavia in 1991, because the country has a region of the same name.

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Of course, there was no shortage of cheerful comments from NATO officials. “Your accession will bring more stability to the western Balkans. This is good for the region and for Euro-Atlantic security,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

However, experts told RT that they weren’t entirely convinced. “NATO has already absorbed the Baltics and much of eastern Europe,” said Sreeram Chaulia of India’s Jindal School of International Affairs. “They are placing missile-defense shields in Poland and Romania. They have a Cold War mindset and believe that more NATO expansion throughout Europe is necessary to contain Russia,” he suggested.

Pavel Kandel, a research fellow with Russia’s Institute of Europe, suggested Macedonia “is not a win but a loss for NATO militarily” because a country like this would become “a customer, not a contributor of security.” The bloc accepted Macedonia because it wants to control foreign policy in a country where a sizeable part of the population is sympathetic to Russia, he said.

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Last summer, Skopje and Athens signed the Prespa agreement,

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The EU votes for the installation of new US missiles in Europe, by Manlio Dinucci

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10-01-19 09:48:00,

The member States of the European Union have unanimously aligned themselves with the military strategy of their American big brother. They have accepted that their own territory may transform itself into a nuclear battleground in the case of conflict between the United States and Russia.

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Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled “Evil Defeated by Good”, representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987, which banned land-based short- and mid-range nuclear missiles (a reach of between 500 and 5,000 km). Symbolically,the body of the dragon is in fact made with pieces of US Pershing-2 ballistic missiles (originally based in West Germany) and Soviet SS-20 missiles (originally based in the USSR).

But the nuclear dragon, which in the sculpture is shown as dying, is now being reborn. Thanks to Italy and other countries of the European Union, which, at the United Nations General Assembly, voted against the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and Implementation of the INF Treaty”, rejected by 46 to 43 with 78 abstentions.

The European Union – of which 21 of its 27 members are part of NATO (including the United Kingdom, which is currently leaving the EU) – has thus taken a uniform stance with the position of NATO, which in turn has taken a uniform stance with that of the United States.

The Obama administration first, followed by the Trump administration, have accused Russia, without any proof, of experimenting with a missile from the forbidden category, and have announced their intention of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. At the same time, they have launched a programme aimed at renewing the installation of nuclear missiles in Europe to guard against Russia, while others will also be based in the Asia-Pacific region against China.

The Russian representative at the UN has warned that “this constitutes the beginning of a full-blown arms race”. In other words, he warned that if the United States should once again install in Europe nuclear missiles pointed at Russia (as were the Cruise missiles based in Comiso in the 1980’s), Russia would once again install,

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