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Painter: Keeping Macedonia out of NATO is dangerous precedent

23. April 2012. | 10:42

Source: MIA

Painter stresses that NATO's central pillar - enlargement is not on the summit agenda, but if countries such as Macedonia, which has met all criteria and continuously contributes to collective security, is not allowed to become member, this weakens the main objective of the region - security, stability and prosperity.

 Macedonia has met membership criteria, its rejection represents a dangerous precedent and incentive for keeping the NATO enlargement process hostage of bilateral disputes. Now is the time for the Alliance to fix this unjust decision from Bucharest, but Chicago should not be the only opportunity for the country's NATO entry, says Sally Painter, CEO at Washington-based "Blue Star Strategies".

"We should not wait for a miracle in Chicago. I always hope for the best for Macedonia, especially with regards to this issue. Four years have passed since Bucharest and the NATO summit in Chicago should not be the ultimate point or the only opportunity for Macedonia's NATO accession. Alliance doors remain open for your country and I hope to see Macedonia and other regional countries become members as soon as possible", Painter told Macedonian TV program "Porta".

According to her, it is clear that all NATO member-states, including Greece, agree that Macedonia has met the membership criteria, but the name row remains.

"Macedonia is 'de facto' a part of the Alliance, but the name issue is of concern for your southern neighbor and unfortunately Macedonia was did not join the Alliance in Bucharest. Was it fair - no, but you should not give up because of this. The United States and I believe all European countries want to see Macedonia as full-fledged NATO member as soon as possible, hoping this will occur at the Chicago summit", says the U.S. analyst.

Painter stresses that NATO's central pillar - enlargement is not on the summit agenda, but if countries such as Macedonia, which has met all criteria and continuously contributes to collective security, is not allowed to become member, this weakens the main objective of the region - security, stability and prosperity.

"Now is the time for NATO to mend its unjust decision. It is clear that every European country that meets conditions and can contribute to the Alliance's security can become member. Macedonia easily meets both criteria. Macedonia's rejection represents a dangerous precedent for other regional rivalries, meaning that one country can indefinitely prevent the accession of another. This can serve as an incentive to hold the NATO enlargement process hostage to bilateral disputes", adds Painter.

The U.S. administration's position regarding Macedonia's NATO accession is clear - it wants to see the country in the Alliance, which was confirmed by Presidents Bush and Obama at the 2008 and 2009 NATO summits.

Pertaining to the possibility for destabilization on the Balkans, the Washington analyst believes the region is stable and has had no serious conflicts over the past decade, whereas all countries share excellent cooperation on security issues.

"There is no need to raise these issues, since the main goal of all Balkan states is NATO and EU integration. Macedonia has always been a leader in preservation of peace and reaching solutions through peaceful means. Therefore, I cannot see any threats for destabilization of your country or the region", says Painter.

With regards to last week's murder of five persons near Skopje, she expresses her shock and extends condolences to the victims' families, as well as conviction that state institutions will find and punish the perpetrators.

"It is unfortunate to hear such news, when five young people are killed while fishing. I am convinced that the Ministry of Interior is working hard on finding those responsible for this crime. There is no need for interethnic tensions, this is not something that people of morals and ethic would want to happen, regardless of race, color and ethnic background. Those involved in the murders deserve the heaviest penalty and I am sure justice will be served", underlines analyst Sally Painter.


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24. April 2012. 10:16:08

| sam


These Yugislavs from skojia think they have a right to be in Nato. What for? What is it that attratcs all these Yugis from skopjia to nato. Is it possibly that they will reduce their peoples suffering like the worst unemployement in Europe, poverty only second to Albania, and a corrupt elite who squander the poor peoples savings.

No I don't think so. It is obvious that the fascists of skopjia need an ally like the US in case the Greeks, Bulgarians and Albanians freak out and lose their patience with these Yugis from skopjia and decide to give all back to the Albanians.

One day thses Yugis from skopjia will say remember when we nearly became famous for staeling Alexander's peoples' identity, then they start talking Bulgarian again to their ancestors in Sofia and leave the land to the Albanians who stemming from the Illyrian Paeonians were the indigenous inhabitants of these skopjian lands. While the Greeks in the south had the REAL Macedonian land from Monastiri down, and of course the Bulgarians who have everything east of Ohrid and strumica (north of Monastiri).

24. April 2012. 10:16:08

| Kiril


Here's something for you Greek boys to ponder, all those who believe we are a creation of cold war ideology. Read and weep!

Seems that Tito and Gruevski were beaten to the punch by a certain gentleman called John Adams, he was one of the first statesmen to advocate a modern independent republic called Macedonia. Yes, John Adams the U.S. president of AD1700 vintage. According to the rants of our poor hard done by Grecian neighbours, only FYROMIANS of post 1945 TITO vintage seem to distinguish between Greece and Macedonia, but here we have a highly respected and intelligent individual, some 267 years before our modern birth as a nation, also of the same opinion.

To quote;
“The project of setting at liberty the whole country of ancient Greece, Macedonia, and Illyricum, and erecting independent Republics in those famous seats, however splendid it may appear in speculation, is not likely to be seriously entertained by the two Empires (meaning Austria and Russia), because it is impracticable."

Ouch! That hurt right?

And to add insult to injury, to quote John Adams. again;
"The Greeks of this day (1778), although they are said to have imagination and ingenuity, are corrupted in their morals to such a degree, as to be a faithless, perfidious race, destitute of courage, as well as of those principles of honor and virtue, without which nations can have no confidence in one another, nor be trusted by others.”

Sad, but true and seems that nothing has changed!

Truth is Greece is only playing a dangerous waiting game with Macedonia's delicate internal/external ethnic tensions. The Greek motto, keep them out of NATO (unstable) and the EU (poor) and the Albanians will take care of the rest.

I think John Adams summed it up beautifully "Greeks destitute of HONOR". Greece have been ripping off their friends in the EU for years, so it's not surprising they dishonered an agreement signed at the highest levels of international governance "the 1995 UN Interim Accord".

24. April 2012. 14:21:20

| Ime


Renaming a country by a historical name and assuming therefore all historical reference to such a name to be pertaining to the newly named country is fundamentally wrong. Reeducating a generation of citizens to believe they are something else is simply dangerous.
For the United Nations to galvanise such an absurd mentally by supporting such a country to become part of (ironically enough) a continent of historical cultures is simply ignorant not just to the immediate countries involved but to all who bare a history. World Heritage Sites might as well have no significance because their cultural lineage can be compromised.
Its only natural for such a country to have an identity crisis without a true sense of itself. Culture is defined by language and this modern so-called Macedonian language is of Slavic origin, its people who speak this Slavic language are of Slavic origin. A stand alone name is historically inappropriate because of its prior usage. If the name must be used, it has to be a composite reference to be both respectful and distinctive to its existing references.

25. April 2012. 05:49:05

| Gandeto


Greece, the spoiled child of EU, has nothing to do with the name "Macedonia". When their country was formed in 1829 by the western powers, it did not include any part of the geographic entity called "Macedonia". Only after the Balkan Wars in 1912-13 when they obtained 51% of Macedonian territory, did the Greeks start "barking" about Macedonia. Let it be known that they entered Macedonian soil for the first time in 1913; prior to that they kept a consular office in Salonika. (Countries do not keep consular offices on their "own" territory). Greece cannot, has no legal base, to lay a claim neither to the name of Macedonia nor to the legacy of the ancient Macedonians. Ancient authors/texts, if anyone cares to read and consult, have left us with plenty of evidence that testifies to the validity of this assertion. It should be born in mind that Greece's ultimate aim in this issue is not about the name of the Republic of Macedonia but the Macedonian identity as people. By eliminating the Macedonian identity, Greece feels that they will, ultimately, eliminate the Macedonian minority of Greece whose lands they have confiscated and whose human rights they have abused. Someone should put this little arrogant bully in her place.

25. April 2012. 12:17:53

| Ime


The bizarre historical claims and hostile propaganda towards Greeks by FRYOM ultra natioanlists (who sadly oppress their own mostly ethnic Bulgarian past) is clear evidence Greeks have legitmate security concerns. What kind of Nato ally demonzes another Nato ally?

Sorry FYROM. No Nato for you. The ICJ pretending not to notice your attempts to insinuate Macedonia Greece as "occupied" and your sudden change into ancient Macedonian only further cements both you and your apologists are bigots with severe prejudices against Greeks. Identity theft is not a human right.

'We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.' - FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

25. April 2012. 12:17:53

| Ime


Here is something for your to "ponder" troll.

ng"The history of the construction of a Macedonian national identity does not begin with Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. or with Saints Cyril and Methodius in the ninth century A.D. as Macedonian nationalist historians often claim"

"Krste Misirkov, who had clearly developed a strong sense of his own personal national identity as a Macedonian and who outspokenly and unambiguously called for Macedonian linguistic and national separatism, acknowledged that a Macedonian national identity was a relatively recent historical development."

"The political and military leaders of the Slavs of Macedonia at the turn of the century seem not to have heard Misirkov's call for a separate Macedonian national identity; they continued to identify themselves in a national sense as Bulgarians rather than Macedonians." - US Anthropologist Loring Danforth, "The Macedonian Conflict: Ethnic Nationalism in a Transnational World", Princeton Univ Press, December 1995

25. April 2012. 12:17:53

| Ime


Nato is ultimately a security organziation. If FYROM ultra nationalists are hostile towards a Nato Member than Nato members are obligated by treaty to defend them. FYROM ultra nationalists shouldn't hold their breath for NATO invitation in Chicago . Their fanaticism and constant anti-Greek rhetoric has assured it ain't happening.

27. April 2012. 07:04:29

| Ime


I am appalled how hateful are the articles written by the pro-Greek writers.
Gloating about your might with NATO on your side and all the things you can do to one of the smallest countries in Europe.
So tell me my "brave" Greek friends is this a new thing or have you always behaved as bullies throughout history?
Visiting Greece, not on my agenda any time soon.


30. April - 06. May 2012.