Lithuania is ready to support Macedonia's accession to the EU and NATO
On 5 December, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov in Brussels. Lithuania‘s Foreign Minister confirmed Lithuania's readiness to provide political and practical support for Macedonia's accession to the EU and NATO.
L. Linkevičius called on the Assembly of Macedonia to seize the historic opportunity and implement the necessary procedure to complete constitutional changes, which would enable to rename the country North Macedonia. He also stressed the need for continued reforms in the country, especially in the areas of the rule of law, anti-corruption and public administration, as well as to ensure that Macedonia‘s foreign policy would be based on the EU values and principles.
The Ministers discussed plans for further bilateral political cooperation. Lithuania's interest in providing practical support to Macedonia through the implementation of EU Twinning projects was also expressed.
The Council decided in December 2005 to grant the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia candidate status. Macedonia joined the NATO Membership Action Plan in 1999 and is the only member of the so-called Vilnius Ten Group that has not joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The dispute with Greece over the country's name has blocked Macedonia's path to membership in both the European Union and NATO.
A breakthrough agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) was signed on 17 June this year. The two countries settled their dispute, opening the door for NATO to extend a membership invitation on 11 July.