The NATO Secretary General noted that the possibility to join the Alliance may be given "a once in a lifetime", reports Interfax-Ukraine.
"We agreed to invite the government of Skopje to start accession talks".
According to The Guardian, Zoran Zaev, the prime minister of Macedonia, at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, said that he knew Russian Federation was behind some of the protests staged in front of his Capital at the time he was negotiating with Greece over the Macedonian name deal. It still faces several hurdles - including constitutional changes and a public referendum in Macedonia - before it becomes final.
Macedonian voters and the Greek parliament still must sign off on that deal, which could also dissipate any Greek objections to the Skopje government's ambition to join the European Union. Greece had claimed the title Macedonia implied a territorial claim on the Greek province of the same name.More news: US forces European Union into buying LNG
Athens is accusing Moscow of trying to undermine a recent deal over the name of its neighbour, the soon-to-be North Macedonia. In addition, Macedonia will also hold a referendum on the deal in the autumn of 2018, Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev said in June.
Greek media reported earlier that Athens had chose to expel the Russian envoys and ban entry to another two over suspicions they had tried to undermine an agreement with neighboring Macedonia.
"Because this is an opportunity that is given once in a lifetime".
Leaders underlines that full implementation of all prescribed internal procedures with respect to the agreement on the solution of the name issue is a condition for a successful conclusion of the accession process.More news: Brit exposed to deadly nerve agent regains consciousness
Greek news outlets reported the expulsions Wednesday, adding that two other Russian envoys were banned from entering Greece.
Despite this latest development, the same sources note that Greece continues, in line with its long-standing policy, to want good cooperative relations with Russian Federation and to promote friendship between the two peoples, but they add that this can only be the case if both countries respect each other's sovereignty.
Asked about the possibility of another member state, possibly the Netherlands or France, failing to ratify, the official said that it was strongly assumed that since all member countries agree that accession talks should start, they bore responsibility to ratify the agreement. The Balkan country became NATO's 29th member a year ago.More news: Big Twitter Accounts See Follower Numbers Drop After Fake-User Purge