The parties signed a document at a meeting at the Munich Security Conference, the ministry said.
Historic day!Welcome the establishment of diplomatic relations between #Geo and #Republic of North Macedonia that opens up new vistas for a wide range co-operation.Once again congratulate @Dimitrov_Nikola on the historic deal and signature on @Nato accession protocol 🇬🇪🇲🇰 pic.twitter.com/gTkOOaG5br— David Zalkaliani (@DZalkaliani) February 16, 2019
In June, Skopje and Athens signed an agreement on Macedonia's new name — the Republic of North Macedonia — which was met with criticism in both countries.
Nevertheless, the parliament of Macedonia approved on 11 January amendments to the constitution that would change the country's name. The Greek parliament ratified the agreement on 25 January, and it came into force earlier in the week. The official government website, www.vlada.mk, changed the country's logo to "Republic of Northern Macedonia — Government of the Republic of Northern Macedonia."
NATO states have to ratify the protocol before Skopje can become a full-fledged member. However, it will reportedly begin participating in NATO's institutions as an invitee right away.
NATO has been reportedly increasing its presence in Eastern Europe after the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014, using the alleged Russian interference in Ukrainian internal affairs as a pretext. Moscow has repeatedly voiced its protest against the Alliance's military buildup, saying that it will undermine regional stability and result in a new arms race.
Georgia has been also striving to join NATO for years, with the alliance repeatedly reaffirming its support for Tbilisi's aspirations. Stoltenberg said in January that NATO and Georgia agreed to continue working together on Tbilisi's preparations for joining the bloc.