Foreign relations of the Republic of Macedonia

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Macedonia

The foreign relations of the Republic of Macedonia since its independence in 1991 have been characterized by the country's efforts to gain membership in international organizations such as NATO and the European Union and to gain international recognition under its constitutional name, overshadowed by a long-standing, dead-locked dispute with neighboring Greece. Greek objections to the country's name have led to it being admitted to the United Nations and several other international fora only under the provisional designation Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

International recognition[edit]

Foreign relation of Macedonia
  recognition and diplomatic relations
  recognition
European countries with no diplomatic relations with Macedonia.

Macedonia became a member state of the United Nations on April 8, 1993, eighteen months after its independence from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. It is referred within the UN as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", pending a resolution, to the long-running dispute about the country's name. Unusually, the country's flag was not raised at UN Headquarters when the state joined the UN.[1] It was not until after the country's flag was changed that it was raised at the UN Headquarters.[1] Other international bodies, such as the European Union,[2] European Broadcasting Union,[3] and the International Olympic Committee[4] have adopted the same convention. NATO also uses the reference in official documents but adds an explanation on which member countries recognise the constitutional name.[5]

All UN member states currently recognise Macedonia as a sovereign state, but they are still divided over what to call it. A number of countries recognise the country by its constitutional name – the Republic of Macedonia – rather than the UN reference, notably four of the five permanent UN Security Council members (the UK, the United States,[6] Russia, and the People's Republic of China) and over 130 other UN members.[7]

List of countries and entities recognising the country and establishing diplomatic relations[edit]

List of countries and entities with no formal diplomatic relations with the country[edit]

  • Georgia, San Marino.
  • Lebanon, Palestine
  • Bhutan, South Korea.
  • Liberia, Mali, South Sudan, Tunisia.
  • The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga
  • the rest of states with limited recognition ( except Kosovo)

Bilateral relations[edit]

Africa[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 South Africa October 1995
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in October 1995.[9]
  • South Africa still uses the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in accordance with UN practice.[9]
  • South Africa is represented in Macedonia by its embassy in Athens, Greece.[9]

Americas[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Belize 25 January 1996

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 25, 1996.[10]

 Brazil 1998
 Canada 4 July 1996
  • Canada is accredited to Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia and maintains an honorary consulate in Skopje.[13]
  • Macedonia has an embassy in Ottawa.[14]
 Guyana 22 September 2003

Both countries established diplomatic relations on September 22, 2003.[15]

 Mexico 4 October 2001
  • Macedonia is accredited to Mexico from its embassy in Washington, D.C., United States.[16]
  • Mexico is accredited to Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.[17]
 Panama 18 April 2002

Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 18, 2002.[18]

 United States See Republic of Macedonia–United States relations
Then US President George W. Bush with the political leaders of Macedonia in 2008

The United States and the Macedonia enjoy excellent bilateral relations.[19] The United States formally recognized Macedonia on February 8, 1994, and the two countries established full diplomatic relations on September 13, 1995. The U.S. Liaison Office was upgraded to an embassy in February 1996, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Skopje arrived in July 1996. The development of political relations between the United States and Macedonia has ushered in a whole host of other contacts between the two states. In 2004, the United States recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name – Republic of Macedonia.

Asia[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 27 May 1993

Both countries established relations on May 27, 1993.[20]

 Azerbaijan 28 June 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 28, 1995.[21]

 China 12 October 1993

On October 12, 1993, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations with Macedonia expressly declaring that the Government of the PRC is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The Government of Macedonia affirmed it would not establish any form of official relations with Taiwan.[22]

 India 1996 See India–Republic of Macedonia relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1996.[23]

 Israel 7 December 1995 See Israel–Republic of Macedonia relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 7, 1995.

 Japan March 1994

Both countries established diplomatic relations in March 1994.Macedonia opened its first resident embassy in Tokyo in 2013 and the first resident ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to Japan is H.E. Dr. Andrijana Cvetkovik [24]

 Kazakhstan

The two countries hold regular political consultations on subjects of political, economic, cultural, humanitarian issues.[25]

 North Korea 11 October 1993

Macedonia and DPRK diplomatic relations from October 11, 1993. They have a friendly relations. DPRK is represented in Macedonia through its embassy in Sofia. Macedonia is one of just three of the 191 UN member states (along with Cuba and Syria) with which South Korea (Korea, Rep) does not have diplomatic relations.[26] However, South Korean citizens do not need to obtain a visa if they stay in Macedonia for less than 90 days.[27]

 South Korea

The Republic of Korea has not established diplomatic relations yet with Republic of Macedonia however both nations are having unofficially relationships.[28]

 Maldives

Both countries established diplomatic relations on November 13, 2000.[29]

 Taiwan 27 January 1999

Notwithstanding the above, Macedonia and the Republic of China on Taiwan (ROC) established diplomatic relations on January 27, 1999.[30] This development increased the number of the ROC's diplomatic allies in Europe from one to two (the other being the Holy See). The PRC was opposed to this and in retaliation vetoed the UN resolution renewing the mandate of the UNPREDEP (a peacekeeping force) in Macedonia. On April 28, 1999, Macedonia opened an embassy in Taipei, ROC.[31] The Republic of Macedonia and the PRC normalized their relations on June 18, 2001.[32] On the same day, the ROC severed diplomatic relations with Macedonia.[31] In the joint communiqué between Macedonia and People's Republic of China, Macedonia recognized "emphatically that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory".[32]

 Turkey See Republic of Macedonia–Turkey relations

Due to historical and cultural mutualities and human bonds Macedonia and Turkey have very close and friendly relations.[33] Shortly after Macedonia declared its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 Turkey was among the first countries to recognise Macedonia's sovereignty.[34] Bilateral relations were established on August 26, 1992.[35] Macedonia has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate–general in Istanbul, while Turkey has an embassy in Skopje and a consulate-general in Bitola.

 Uzbekistan 31 December 1994

Both countries established diplomatic relations on December 31, 1994.[36]

 Vietnam 1o June 1994
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 10, 1994.[37]
  • Macedonia is represented in Vietnam through its embassy in Beijing, China.[38]
  • Vietnam is represented in Macedonia through its embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.[38]

Europe[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Albania

Recently (Aug. 2008) they signed a treaty enabling visa-free movement between the countries. Both countries support each other's ethnic minorities in cultural, political and educational aspects. During the ethnic conflict in 2001, the Albanian government did not interfere and supported peaceful resolution. Albania had recognized Skopje under the UN provisional reference of the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia",[39][40] abbreviated as FYROM.[41][42]

 Bulgaria See Bulgaria–Republic of Macedonia relations

Bulgaria–Republic of Macedonia relations refer to the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Macedonia. Rules for governing good neighbourly relations were agreed between Bulgaria and Macedonia in the Joint Declaration of February 22, 1999 and reaffirmed by a joint memorandum signed on January 22, 2008 in Sofia.[43] The governments of Bulgaria and Macedonia signed a friendship treaty to bolster the relations between the two Balkan states in August 2017.[44] The treaty was ratified by the parliament of the Republic of Macedonia on the 15th of and of Bulgaria on 18th January 2018.[45]

 Denmark See Denmark–Republic of Macedonia relations
 Estonia 2 March 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on March 2, 1995.[46]

 Greece See Greece–Republic of Macedonia relations

Macedonia and Greece have excellent economic and business relations, with Greece being the largest investor in the country. However, the indeterminate status of Macedonia's name arises from a long-running dispute with Greece. The main points of the dispute are:[47]

  • The name: see Macedonia naming dispute, and the section Naming issue (below in this article).
  • The flag: the use of Vergina Sun, claimed by Greece as an exclusive state symbol, on the initial national flag used between 1992 and 1995 (resolved, see below)
  • Constitutional issues: certain articles of the constitution that were seen as claims on Greek territory (resolved, see below).

The naming issue was "parked" in a compromise agreed at the United Nations in 1993. However, Greece refused to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic and imposed an economic blockade that lasted until the flag and constitutional issues were resolved in 1995.

 Kosovo See Kosovo–Republic of Macedonia relations

Macedonia and Kosovo have very friendly and cordial neighbourly relations[citation needed] which mainly are due to the ethnic Albanian populations that live inside Macedonia. In October 2008, Macedonia recognized Kosovo as an independent state with plan to establish diplomatic relations. Kosovo recognized the neighbouring country under the constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia.[48] Also in October 2008, a bilateral agreement was signed between the two countries after the border between the two was physically marked by a joint committee.[49] Kosovo and Macedonia have signed a Free Trade Agreement in 2005 to facilitate trade opportunities, investment conditions and improve good-neighbourly relations. Macedonian investments are the largest in Kosovo since its independence on February 17, 2008 year.[50]

 Lithuania 18 July 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on July 18, 1995.[51]

 Malta 25 January 2017

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 25, 2017.[52]

 Montenegro 14 June 2006 See Republic of Macedonia–Montenegro relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on June 14, 2006.[53]

 Norway 1993

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1993.[54]

 Romania 11 January 1995

Both countries established diplomatic relations on January 11, 1995.[55]

 Serbia See Republic of Macedonia–Serbia relations

Macedonia and Serbia traditionally have friendly relations. Serbia is a main trading partner and recognizes its neighbour under the constitutional name – Republic of Macedonia. Macedonians in Serbia are a recognized national minority, same as Serbs in the Republic of Macedonia. However, the non-recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church by the Serbian Orthodox Church and Macedonia's recognition of Kosovo as an independent state are disturbing the relations of these two countries.

 Slovenia 12 February 1992 See Republic of Macedonia–Slovenia relations

Macedonia and Slovenia have very close political and economic relations. Once part of SFR Yugoslavia, the two republics declared independence in 1991 (Slovenia in June, Macedonia in September) and recognised each other's independence on February 12, 1992.[56] Diplomatic relations between both countries were established on March 17, 1992.[57] Slovenia supports Macedonia's sovereignty, territorial integrity, its Euro-integration and visa liberalisation.[56][58] A significant number of Slovenian investments ended up in the Republic of Macedonia. In 2007, about 70 million euros were invested.[59] In January 2009, the Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski announced, that he expects more Slovenian investments in infrastructure and energy projects.[59] Over 70 Slovenian companies are present on the Macedonian market.[56]

Oceania[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia 15 February 1994
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 15 February 1994.[60]
  • Australia is accredited to Macedonia from its embassy in Belgrade, Serbia and maintains an honorary consulate in Skopje.[61]
  • Macedonia has an embassy in Canberra.[62]
 New Zealand
  • Macedonia is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.[63]
  • New Zealand is accredited to Macedonia from its embassy in Rome, Italy.[64]

Issues[edit]

Flag issue[edit]

The former flag of Republic of Macedonia (used from 1992 to 1995), bearing the Vergina Sun

Macedonia's first post-independence flag caused a major controversy when it was unveiled. The use of the Vergina Sun on the flag was seen by Greece as territorial claim to the northern Greek region of Macedonia, where the golden larnax containing the symbol was unearthed in 1977 during excavations in Vergina by Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos. The Greek viewpoint was summed up in an FAQ circulated on the Internet in the late 1990s:

The Vergina Sun, the emblem of Philip's dynasty, symbolizes the birth of our nation. It was the first time (4th century BC) that the Greek mainland (city-states and kingdoms) with the same language, culture, and religion were united against the enemies of Asia in one league. At the same time the fractured Greek world grew conscious of its unity. And, in this sense, we have never been apart since then. The "Sun" was excavated in Greece in 1978, and it is sacred to us.[65]

The Vergina Sun, claimed by Greece as an exclusive state symbol, was removed from the flag under an agreement reached between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece in September 1995. The Republic agreed to meet a number of Greek demands for changes to its national symbols and constitution, while Greece agreed to establish diplomatic relations with the Republic and end its economic blockade.[66]

Constitutional issue[edit]

Macedonia's first post-independence constitution, adopted on November 17, 1991 included a number of clauses that Greece interpreted as promoting secessionist sentiment among the Slavophone population of northern Greece, and making irredentist claims on Greek territory. Article 49 of the constitution caused particular concern. It read:

(1) The Republic cares for the status and rights of those persons belonging to the Macedonian people in neighboring countries, as well as Macedonian expatriates, assists their cultural development and promotes links with them. In the exercise of this concern the Republic will not interfere in the sovereign rights of other states or in their internal affairs.
(2) The Republic cares for the cultural, economic and social rights of the citizens of the Republic abroad.[67]

The Greek government interpreted this as a licence for Macedonia to interfere in Greek internal affairs. Given long-standing Greek sensitivities over the position of the country's minority groups, the government saw this as being the most serious of the three main issues affecting relations between the two countries; the issue of the republic's symbols, by contrast, was seen as being of much less substantive importance, even though it aroused the loudest political controversy. The Greek prime minister at the time, Constantine Mitsotakis, later commented that

What concerned me from the very first moment was not the name of the state. The problem for me was that [we should not allow] the creation of a second minority problem in the area of western [Greek] Macedonia [the first minority being the Turkish-speaking Greeks of western Thrace]. My main aim was to convince the Republic to declare that there is no Slavomacedonian minority in Greece. This was the real key of our difference with Skopje.[68]

The offending articles were removed under the 1995 agreement between the two sides.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html.

  1. ^ a b Article on Former Yugoslav states Archived June 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ European Commission. "Background information – The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  3. ^ European Broadcasting Union. "Members' Logos". Archived from the original on September 28, 2006. Retrieved October 1, 2006. 
  4. ^ International Olympic Committee. "LIST OF NATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEES PARTICIPATING IN THE XIX OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES IN SALT LAKE CITY" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2008. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  5. ^ North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "The situation in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is critical". Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  6. ^ "US snubs Greece over Macedonia". BBC News Online. November 4, 2004. Retrieved 2006-10-01. 
  7. ^ MIA Archived February 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Kosovo is the 127th country that Macedonia has established diplomatic ties with under its constitutional name.
  8. ^ ЕSTABLISHED FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS OF THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA: "The Republic of Macedonia established diplomatic relations with the European Union on the 29-th of December 1995."
  9. ^ a b c [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Embassy of Brazil in Sofia
  12. ^ Embassy of Macedonia in Brazil
  13. ^ Embassy of Canada in Serbia
  14. ^ Embassy of Macedonia in Ottawa
  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-24. 
  16. ^ Embassy of Macedonia in Washington, D.C.
  17. ^ Embassy of Mexico in Serbia
  18. ^ [3]
  19. ^ Makfax Agency United States of America congratulate President Ivanov on his inauguration and are looking forward to continuing of the excellent relations with Macedonia
  20. ^ [4]
  21. ^ [5]
  22. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China". Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  23. ^ [6]
  24. ^ [7]
  25. ^ "Kazakhstan, Macedonia intend to enhance political and trade cooperation". 
  26. ^ http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/746362.html
  27. ^ https://www.timaticweb.com/cgi-bin/tim_website_client.cgi?SpecData=1&VISA=&page=visa&NA=KR&AR=00&PASSTYPES=PASS&DE=MK&user=KLMB2C&subuser=KLMB2C
  28. ^ http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/europe/countries/20070823/1_24603.jsp?menu=m_30_40
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 12, 2015. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  30. ^ "中華民國外交部 – 全球資訊網 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)". 中華民國外交部 – 全球資訊網 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b ROC Yearbook 2009 Archived November 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  32. ^ a b "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China". Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  33. ^ Republic of Turkey – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in English)
  34. ^ Government of the Republic of Macedonia Archived August 3, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. (in English)
  35. ^ Republic of Macedonia – Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. (in English)
  36. ^ [8]
  37. ^ [9]
  38. ^ a b [10]
  39. ^ United Nations, A/RES/47/225, April 8, 1993
  40. ^ United Nations Security Council Resolutions 817 of April 7 and 845 June 18, 1993, see UN resolutions made on 1993
  41. ^ "Diplomatic Representative of Albania, 30, FYROM". Retrieved February 29, 2012. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania 
  42. ^ FYROM on un.org
  43. ^ Bulgarian Policies on the Republic of Macedonia: Recommendations on the development of good neighbourly relations following Bulgaria’s accession to the EU and in the context of NATO and EU enlargement in the Western Balkans. Sofia: Manfred Wörner Foundation, 2008. 80 pp. (Trilingual publication in Bulgarian, Macedonian and English) ISBN 978-954-92032-2-6
  44. ^ http://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/bulgaria-pledges-to-champion-macedonias-eu-and-nato-dreams/
  45. ^ "Macedonian Parliament Ratifies The Declaration of Cooperation With Bulgaria". Retrieved 2018-01-15. 
  46. ^ [11]
  47. ^ Floudas, Demetrius Andreas; "A Name for a Conflict or a Conflict for a Name? An Analysis of Greece's Dispute with FYROM",". 24 (1996) Journal of Political and Military Sociology, 285. 1996. Archived from the original on 2006-01-27. Retrieved 2008-02-11. 
  48. ^ "My Info Agent". Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  49. ^ "Macedonia, Kosovo agree on border demarcation". Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  50. ^ UNMIK, Focus Kosovo: Kosovo’s Free Trade Agreements Archived August 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  51. ^ [12]
  52. ^ [13]
  53. ^ [14]
  54. ^ [15]
  55. ^ [16]
  56. ^ a b c Republic of Slovenia – Government Communication Office[permanent dead link]
  57. ^ Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Established full diplomatic relations with the Republic of Macedonia Archived September 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  58. ^ Government of the Republic of Macedonia
  59. ^ a b Vecer Online Archived February 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  60. ^ [17]
  61. ^ [18]
  62. ^ [19]
  63. ^ [20]
  64. ^ [21]
  65. ^ Never Say Never Again (November 15, 1998). "Macedonian FAQ (Hellenic)". Newsgroupalt.religion.christian.east-orthodox. Usenet: #oVovmKE#GA.388@nih2naaa.prod2.compuserve.com. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  66. ^ Floudas, Demetrius Andreas; "FYROM's Dispute with Greece Revisited" (PDF). in: Kourvetaris et al. (eds.), The New Balkans, East European Monographs: Columbia University Press, 2002, p. 85. 
  67. ^ Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia Archived June 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine., adopted November 17, 1991, amended on January 6, 1992
  68. ^ Constantine Mitsotakis, quoted in Tom Gallagher, The Balkans in the New Millennium: in the shadow of war and peace, p. 6. Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-34940-0

External links[edit]