The article examines NATO military operations in the Republic of North Macedonia in the Republic‘s desire to integrate into the EU and NATO. Such significant events allow us to take a different look at the goals of the military bloc during the period of military operations in Northern Macedonia and assess their actions to resolve the conflict in the country. NATO took part in the conflict (between Albanians and Macedonians) in the Republic of North Macedonia as one of the mediators. During the period of military operations and negotiations, since 2001, NATO has had a significant influence on resolving the conflict situation. However, the necessity and effectiveness of the operations carried out by NATO, and the feasibility of getting involved in the conflict are ambiguous. This case became especially evident over time, when Albanian groups launched large-scale military operations against the police and army in the Republic of North Macedonia, even despite the presence of NATO contingents in the country and the lack of agreements at the state level between ethnic groups led to political destabilization, which, in particular, was reflected in the fighting in 2015 in Kumanovo. The authors of the article note that the lack of verification of decisions taken by the North Atlantic Alliance during the settlement of an acute ethnopolitical conflict in this country and the building of a dialogue between the warring parties using the tactics of «hand-twisting» led to completely ambiguous results, which, in turn, continue to affect the political life of the country today, especially after North Macedonia became a member of NATO. At the present stage, the Republic of North Macedonia is aiming at integration into the European Union. This moment was a natural step for the Republic after signing the document on joining the North Atlantic Alliance. During military operations, EU representatives, under the protection of the NATO contingent, provided advice in the implementation of the Ohrid agreement, financed North Macedonia and supported the Albanian opposition. However, over time, it became obvious that the actions of the European Union (with the support of NATO) were aimed at creating a governed state and not at resolving an ethnopolitical conflict.
The Republic of North Macedonia; conflict; NATO; military operations; Albanian groups; mediation in the conflict.