North Macedonia expected to be a NATO member by end of year

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expects North Macedonia to be a full member of the alliance by December.

Stoltenberg made the claim during a press conference on Tuesday adding that the ratification process in member-states' parliaments is already under way and that it "is going fast enough". 

NATO's head was speaking at a press conference ahead of the two-day meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the level of Defence Ministers which he will be chairing in Brussels on June 26-27.

Stoltenberg added that "it would be great to be able to complete the (ratification) procedures in the national parliaments by December, when we have the NATO leaders' conference in London, but if not, I expect it to happen very soon" after.

He also noted that "North Macedonia is on a full (NATO) accession trajectory" and that it "meets all NATO standards." The country will become the 30th member of the NATO Alliance as "the difficult issue of the name has been resolved, due to the courage shown by the two political leaders, Greek Prime Minister (Alexis) Tsipras and North Macedonia Prime Minister (Zoran) Zaev in Athens and in Skopje."