Macedonia: A new front in Russia-West tensions

Supporters of the boycott of Macedonia’s September 30 referendum celebrate the low turnout in Skopje
Macedonians opposed to changing the country’s name and its membership in the EU and NATO celebrate the low turnout of the September 30 referendum (source: dpa)
  • Macedonia’s failed referendum strengthened Moscow’s hand there
  • The country’s EU and NATO membership is almost sure to be delayed
  • The resulting strategic vacuum will cause domestic and regional instability

On September 30, 94 percent of voters in Macedonia’s referendum cast their ballots in favor of adopting a new name for the country and working toward European Union and NATO membership. The convincing result, however, was soured by a boycott. With just under 37 percent turnout, the results were legally invalid – a 50 percent minimum was required.

Russia applauded the referendum’s failure, while the West expressed concern for Macedonia’s strategic direction. The question now is whether the country will become a new East-West border state, continually tugged in either direction, or whether it will still achieve its Euro-Atlantic ambitions.

Not a subscriber yet?

Subscribe now and get the latest in-depth geopolitical analysis and forecasts from GIS’s unrivaled cadre of experts.

Learn more about our subscription plans.

You can also buy this report for €8.99 Buy

Add your comment