Mitsotakis Raises North Macedonia Provocations at NATO Summit

Mitsotakis North Macedonia NATO Summit
Mitsotakis, who is in the US capital to attend the NATO summit, spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations. Credit: AMNA

The Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis raised the recent provocations of North Macedonia on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Washington.

During a discussion with former ambassador to Greece Daniel Speckhard at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mitsotakis stressed that using the constitutional name of the Republic of North Macedonia for all uses is non-negotiable.

Recent elections in North Macedonia brought a right-wing government that has publicly continued to use the name “Macedonia,” contrary to the Prespa agreement. Athens has criticized this stance and plans to raise the issue at the summit, warning that it jeopardizes Skopje’s European integration prospects.

Mitsotakis at NATO Summit: Nationalism in North Macedonia

The problem with the Balkans is that very often the ghost of nationalism rises again when nobody necessarily expects it, Mitsotakis said, about North Macedonia.

“Today, North Macedonia is a member of NATO because Greece withdrew its veto following the Prespa Agreement that was signed and ratified by the previous government. We have clarified that it is an international treaty that places the country under obligations. We respected it and we respect it.

“One of the fundamental – if not the most fundamental – doctrines, aspects of this agreement relates to the name ‘North Macedonia’ that is used erga omnes. And this is very clear and non-negotiable for Greece.

“When I hear that the new government refers to the country as the Republic of Macedonia domestically, I have serious concerns. And this is an issue I plan to raise. It is not constructive and it does not help North Macedonia’s European path,” Mitsotakis underlined.

Among other issues he spoke about, the Greek premier said that Greece was aligned with its allies on supporting Ukraine and expressed support to Ukraine from the very start, which was not a given for Greece, a country that had historical, cultural, and religious ties with Russia.

There is also no sign, he noted, of Europe’s commitment to Ukraine wavering, despite a problem with one or two EU member states. “Overall, European support was very consistent and strong,” he added.

Mitsotakis is expected to meet with President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Washington. According to government sources, the meeting is expected to take place at 16:00 local time.

Biden addresses leaders at the NATO Summit

US President Joe Biden has welcomed NATO leaders to Washington DC with a forceful speech that seemed pitched to reassure allies overseas and closer to home that he can fight off an election challenge from Donald Trump.

In brief but strongly delivered remarks at the opening of the summit, the president declared the military alliance “more powerful than ever” as it faced a “pivotal moment” with the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Warning that “autocrats” had overturned global order”, Biden announced more military aid for Kyiv.

The US president and the leaders of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania are donating Patriot missile batteries and other systems to bolster Ukraine’s beleaguered air defenses.

“The war will end with Ukraine remaining a free and independent country,” Biden said in remarks read from a teleprompter on Tuesday afternoon. “Russia will not prevail. Ukraine will prevail.”

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