The Russian ministry of foreign affairs published on Thursday (18 October) a communiqué blasting what it called “roughest interference” by the US and leading EU states in pushing through the Skopje parliament the Macedonia-Greece name dispute agreement.
Moscow on Monday (1 October) said low turnout in the referendum on Macedonia's name change renders it invalid, adding that lack of interest means that the population has boycotted a decision "forced" upon it.
Two days before a crucial referendum that could open the doors of Macedonia to NATO and EU membership, an official from Skopje speaking in Brussels on Friday (28 September) made it clear that the authorities will declare the result as legitimate even in case of a low turnout.
Closer ties to the West are the most effective tool to counter jihadism and Islamic radicalisation in the Western Balkans, experts told a conference in Brussels this week. Meanwhile, concerns about returning foreign terrorist fighters remain.
US defence secretary Jim Mattis scolded the Kremlin on Monday (17 September) amid concerns that Russia is funding groups to influence the upcoming crucial vote on Macedonia’s name change, which should open the door to NATO and EU membership.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Tuesday (11 September) he would visit Macedonia before the 30 September referendum on changing the country's name, also expressing concern about suspected Russian interference in the vote, which Moscow denies.
A Macedonian court on Wednesday (22 August) launched a trial of 33 men, including five opposition MPs and a former interior minister, accused of involvement in a violent attack on parliament last year.
Macedonia's parliament yesterday (30 July) set 30 September as the date for a referendum on changing the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia, a high-stakes vote aimed at resolving a long-running row with Greece and clearing the path to join NATO and the EU.
The European Union said it struck a deal on Wednesday (18 July) with Macedonia to deploy border guards to the non-EU Balkan state to help cope with any migrant surges. Serbia and Bosnia are expected to follow.
Russia and Greece were poised on Wednesday (11 July) to expel two of each other's diplomats in a rare dispute that Greek media said had been prompted by the issue of Macedonia, which expects this week to be formally invited to join the NATO alliance.
The European Union agreed a compromise on Tuesday (26 June) whereby it would open negotiations to join the bloc with Albania and Macedonia in June next year, provided a string of conditions on rule of law, crime and corruption are met.
The Dutch parliament blocked on Thursday (21 June) the opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania. The EU summit will decide on 28-29 June whether to open negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
Greece and Macedonia on Sunday (17 June) signed a historic preliminary agreement to rename the small Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, ending a row that has poisoned relations between the two neighbours since 1991.
Macedonia's deputy prime minister expects growing "external resistance" as negotiations on the name dispute with Greece get closer to a final deal which would unblock the country's NATO and EU membership bid.
EU members want to take their time with a new round of enlargement - something that the Western Balkans summit this Thursday (17 May) in Sofia is unlikely to change. EURACTIV Germany’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati briefed a small group of Brussels journalists on Thursday (26 April) about his country’s EU ambitions, following the Commission’s proposal to start accession negotiations with Tirana and a visit of Prime Minister Edi Rama to Berlin last Wednesday.