Moscow: NATO membership may take toll on FYROM foreign policy independence


NATO membership could take a heavy toll on Skopje’s foreign policy independence, Moscow warned Thursday, a day after NATO members signed an accord with Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) allowing the Balkan country to become the 30th member of the US-led alliance.

“There will certainly be a price to pay for NATO’s protection. We know the price now as Washington has announced it. In fact, they will have to increase their defense spending, pay for participation in military preparations and operations that have little to do with the interests of the Macedonian people, and also lose the possibility to pursue a truly independent foreign policy,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova was quoted by TASS news agency as saying during a briefing.

Zakharova also voiced skepticism over the alleged security threats addressed by FYROM’s potential NATO membership.

“The Kosovo army, which is being formed of former Albanian militants, is the only serious military power that is destabilizing the region. We don’t see any other security threats and so we ask ourselves: is it possible that NATO will once again wage a war against those who received training and weapons from the alliance?” she said, according to the report.