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NATO to use Macedonia’s accession in standoff with Moscow, Russian senator says

NATO member states have signed an agreement with Macedonia, so the nation is to become the 30th in the military alliance

MOSCOW, February 6. /TASS/. The signing of Macedonia's NATO accession protocol is largely a symbolic act but it is important for the Alliance given its growing standoff with Moscow, Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev told TASS.

Earlier on Wednesday, the envoys of 29 NATO countries and Macedonia singed the accession protocol at the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Now the document will be submitted for ratification to the Alliance’s members, and after that Macedonia will also be able to ratify it. The process is expected to be completed before the end of the year.

"The singing of Macedonia's NATO accession protocol is more of a symbolic act than a practical step because the tiny country is of no importance to the Alliance," Kosachev said.

"But the fact of its accession is important for NATO given the standoff with Russia that has been pointing to the Alliance’s destructive role as a Cold War relic. It is important for them to show Moscow that just like they refused to listen to what it said in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, they will not listen to Russia in the 2020s, when Macedonia’s accession process will be completed," the senator noted. According to him, it once again proves that Russia’s grievances against NATO are justified.

Kosachev pointed out that US President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO had played a role in the move. "It undoubtedly alarmed NATO officials in Brussels so they are taking pains to show Washington that the Alliance is doing well and expanding," he said.

The Russian senator believes that accession to NATO will do good neither to Macedonia nor to European security. "However, the current generation of European politicians are not capable of realizing it as they continue to stick to the 20th century recipes trying to resolve the 21st century issues," Kosachev concluded.