Macedonia is awake and looking to the future
24 June, 2017
After staying dormant and cowardly pessimistic under Nikola Gruevski, the Macedonian diplomacy has finally woken up, and in a convincing manner too. I would even say that it has been operating with the means of soft power diplomacy of late.
The subtly assertive diplomatic campaign started with a visit to the headquarters of NATO and the EU in Brussels and continued with a visit of the Macedonian foreign minister to Greece and then a trip of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, accompanied by a delegation of senior Macedonian officials, to Sofia for a meeting with PM Boyko Borisov, which sent out a message of good neighbourly relations. I believe that good neighbourly relations with Greece and Bulgaria are the first element and it is intended to prove that the Republic of Macedonia adheres to this principle that has been used by Greece as grounds to block our country from NATO.
The second thing that this visit shows is a commitment to regional security because a stable Macedonia in good neighbourly relations with Bulgaria and Greece is of crucial importance and has a significant role to play in that regard.
The third aspect is the effect that the demonstrated friendly attitude towards Athens and Sofia could have on our EU and NATO aspirations. It is safe to say that with this visit the government of Zoran Zaev has proven that it will not be the slave to the past that we have seen several other cabinets be since the declaration of the country's independence.
Zaev's government is looking to the future and I think that by adopting this positive mindset it will accomplish rapprochement, mainly with Bulgaria, and at the same time allow for problems, perhaps more so superficial than fundamental ones, between Skopje and Sofia to be overcome. This is why the recent visit is extremely important. Not to mention that Bulgaria is set to assume the presidency of the Council of the EU, during which I believe it will help the Republic of Macedonia to have an even more intense focus on its EU and NATO goals.
Nano Ruzin is former ambassador of Macedonia to NATO. The article was originally published by BGNES Agency.