ISSN 2330-717X

Macedonia: Gruevski Responds Bluntly To NATO’s Decision


By Misko Taleski

Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski gave NATO a stinging rebuke on Tuesday (May 22nd) after the organisation passed on the option to extend membership to his country due to Greece’s longtime objections.

The rejection was expected by observers, but that didn’t keep Gruevski from bitterly criticising NATO in an interview Tuesday with the Macedonian Information Agency (MIA).

“Such a policy of double standards, unprincipled-ness and moving away from the values they themselves publicly proclaim, I have not seen in a long time as is the case with Macedonia. They are ignoring the International Court of Justice ruling,” Gruevski said, referring to a December 2011 decision in which the court concluded that Greece had violated a 1995 Interim Accord when it vetoed Macedonia’s bid for NATO membership in 2008.

Gruevski’s unusually frank language reflects the disappointment for Macedonians, where recent polls showed that 85% of the population wanted the nation to be a NATO member. Newspaper headlines in Macedonia called the two-day Chicago summit a “disgrace.”

“Finally, somebody expressed that which the people think, being fully aware about the inequalities and realities of international politics. The choice NATO gives Macedonia to appease Greece, is no choice; we will never change nor should change our name. If NATO does not want us in as Macedonia, we should reconsider our commitment to the alliance,” Borche Ristevski, 32, a resident of Skopje, told SETimes.

While criticising some of the Western leaders, Gruevski said the sole culprit is Greece, which he said has used all means at its disposal over the past two decades to slow Macedonia’s development because of the longstanding disagreement over Macedonia’s name.

“These countries [NATO members] I consider our friends, but they are at the same time greater friends of Greece. That is how it was in the past 21 years and that is why Greece succeeds at harassing Macedonia to the maximum, without facing serious consequences,” said Gruevski. Macedonians say anything but the name “Republic of Macedonia” denies the nation’s right of identity. Greece has said the name is an implied threat towards its province of the same name.

Macedonia has been recognised by more than 100 countries and was admitted to the UN in 1993, but in that body — and most other international organisations — is identified as “the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.” Macedonia applied for NATO membership in 2005 and believed that it would be accepted in 2008, but Greece blocked a formal invitation

Despite the latest disappointment, Gruevski stressed that Macedonia remains committed to eventual membership. “We will remain dedicated to materialising our strategic goal for NATO membership and will work towards it. If somebody tells the truth, it does not mean he is picking a fight with the strategic partners,” Gruevski concluded.

Most analysts said the speech was a call to unite the country politically and that Gruevski –without question — succeeded.

“Gruevski has struck a chord with the people because he is the first Macedonian leader to state things as they objectively are, despite a potential threat to his position. The interview channeled the pain Macedonians feel while affected in every way possible by Greece’s blockages and obfuscation internationally,” Vladimir Bozhinovski, analyst at the Institute for Political Research, told SETimes.

“The speech also lays the ground for Macedonia to define its ‘red line’ regarding the Greek-imposed name issue,” he added.

Current and former policy makers expressed support, particularly praising the importance domestic policy continues to place on the rule of law as well as international law tenants.

“If Macedonia sends most soldiers to NATO missions per capita; if its soldiers fight terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq with high-level professionalism as NATO allies; if we have satisfied all standards and criteria, achieved all reforms and are not getting anything in response, then Macedonia is right to be critical about the processes and the behaviour of some states,” Slobodan Chashule, Macedonia’s former foreign minister, told SETimes.

“In the case of Greece, it appears here that NATO and the EU are rewarding bad behaviour. Such an approach is already very costly for the EU, and we hope it will not be similarly costly to NATO,” Chashule said.

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The Southeast European Times Web site is a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in ten languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish. The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in 52 countries. EUCOM is committed to promoting stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

12 thoughts on “Macedonia: Gruevski Responds Bluntly To NATO’s Decision

  • May 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    If FYROM’s ultra nationalist government was remotely interested in Balkan stability it would stop wholesale usurping Greek history and come up with its own unique name/identity (or go back to call themselves Bulgarians) Building giant Alexander statues and encouraging citizens to see Macedonia Greece as occupied is hardly a sign of wanting to build stability in the region.

  • May 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Megaolomaniac thug Gruevski apparently received one to many blows as a boxer.

    Greece’s does not deny FYROM a right to an identity as he lies. What Greece objects to is the wholesale usurpation of Greek history (which includes self-identifying Greek ancient macedonians – who not a single historian on earth claims were Slavic as Gruevski and apologists bizarrely seem to think) Greece has ever right to object to his attempts to manipulative human rights to insinuate our homeland is occupied.

    If smooth talking ultra nationalist Gruevski really believed the right to recognition was an absolute… the lying hypocrite would stop denying the self-determination of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

    “The Macedonian side stated once again that it will not establish official ties of any form or conduct official exchanges with Taiwan, and that it opposes Taiwan’s accession to any international organization whose membership requires statehood”

  • May 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    NATO is a defense alliance and Greece has every right to object to the inclussion of a state that makes blatant threats. Greece has been an integral part of the regions security since the first world war. FYROM thinks that kidnapping German citizens and murdering innocent pakistani students, in order to please the like of George Bush in the war on terror is somehow comaprable. Its disgusting. Good on NATO for keeping them out!

  • May 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    FYROM is the North Korea of Europe. They build giant statues of ancient Greek heroes in there cities. They change the facade of building to make them look like the acropolis. The state television plays videos with the so called voice of God telling the people that they are the fathers of the white race. They paint images of Alexander the Great in churches calling him a saint. These examples are just the tip of the iceburg. NATO is aware of the harm Gruevski is causing. That’s why they deal with the Albanians. Plus they know the name issue will be solved in 10 years when the Albanians bcome the majority.

  • May 23, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Macedonia should drop this BS. We don’t need Nato nor Greece which will probably by asking us for a loan soon.

  • May 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I am happy to see I am not alone on this. How can these people deny that thousands of years of history took place? Greece may be guilty of corrupt and irresponsible government spending but the people of Greece have a right to honor the memory and bravery of their forefathers. These are a people that have shown tremendous resilience in the face of adversity. They endured over 400 years of occupation followed by genocide and the loss of nearly 15% of their population during World Wars 1 and 2. Greece is a developed country that vues healthcare and education as inalienable human rights. They provide support internationally during crisis as well as a great deal of aid in Africa. The way that FYROM is trying to smear Greece’s name and is unconscionable.

  • May 24, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Can only laugh listening to the drivel spouted by the FYROM leader.

    Did Canada decide to call it self the ‘the real U.S.A’ of course not its so stupid from FYROM

  • May 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Sooner or later,NATO and EU will throw Greece out of the alliances.
    There are two main reasons for that;Greece brought the eurozone to its knees by fabricating their financial state.

    The second is;Greece is a danger to the security in the Balkans.

    Greece,make no mistake,the noose you are trying to put on Macedonia,it will bite YOU sooner than later.

    The Alliances you have, have given you the rope that soon will be around your own necks.

  • May 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Nothing infuriates me more than to read statements by Greeks alleging that the Republic of Macedonia usurped or stole Greek history and heritage. These kind of lies prove several things:
    (1) That Greeks have been fed false historical accounts about their own country
    (2)That today’s Greeks have been exposed to falsified historical documents, have ignored the writings of their own 19 century historians, have ignored the text of the ancient biographers (their own Greek biographers too)and have manipulated their own populace to believe in fairy tales.
    (3)Have lied to the world and continue to do so
    (4)Have no shame pretending that they are descendants from the ancient Greeks
    (5)Pretend that Macedonia is theirs when every informed person knows the truth that they entered in Macedonia for the first time in 1913.
    (6)They claim that the ancient Macedonians were Greeks when the rest of the academia believes the opposite.
    (7)Have cooked their financial books, lied to the European Senate, continue to lie and cry and pout like babies and ignore to realize that they are in a political and economic mass of their own making.
    (8) Have milked the EU for the last decade and continue to do so without any remorse or responsibilities for their own actions, read laziness.
    (8) Show utter arrogance for human rights and are one of the most morally corrupt country in Europe. And lastly
    (9) They have tried to destabilize Macedonia and still do even though their own country is sinking into the abyss.

    This little bully should be put in its place; the sooner the better.

  • May 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Lets set the record straihgt,it is Greece that will never survive without the EU,and worse without NATO.
    Turkish jets are buzzing over Athens skys while Greek jets hiding in the bunkers for luck of jet fuel,and pissing in their pants afraid to defend their own sky, lo lo!
    EU calls Greece the spoiled child that should have never been accepted in the European family,former president Sarkozy’s words.
    Greece is afraid of loosing Aegean Macedonia,so what are they doing,they buy more and more arms to keep Frances and Germany’s industrial complexes going just for support not to undo what they did in 1913.
    Greece is well aware,they occupy Macedonia illigaly,so does France and Germany.
    I only wish,Gruevski and Gul decide to allow Turkish base in Bitola,now that will give Greece a heart attack!
    Once this materializes,who needs NATO?
    These shameless Greek politicians have destroyed Greece,and now they are doing it to EU.
    Once again,Adams in 1783 was right;”Greeks are “corrupted in their morals to such a degree,as to be faithless,perfidious race,destitute of courage”.
    I must handed to you Greeks,you are the best in fabrication of history,and for that,you deserv a medal!

  • May 28, 2012 at 3:50 am

    @FYROM nationalist Apolodorus lambroideus


    Greeks have lived in Anatolia for millennia, especially along the Aegean coast. For a while, under Alexander, they dominated the land. And for all intents and purposes, the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire at the time) was Greek. When Mehmct 11 conquered Constantinople, he appointed a Greek monk to the orthodox Patriarch and allowed him to govern both the religious and secular affairs of the Greek community. The first Ottoman census, of 1477, counted half of Constantinople’s population as Greek, and four-hundred years later, even after the Greek War of Independence, it was still 21 percent Greek. – Lowenthal, David (1998). The heritage crusade and the spoils of history. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 245.


  • June 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    NATO has disgraced itself with its mistreatment of Macedonia. Rewarding Greece’s racist behaviour while penalizing Macedonia for its exemplary behaviour demonstrates that NATO is losing the plot.


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