In order for Macedonia to be admitted to NATO and the European Union, member state Greece has demanded that Macedonia change its name and identity, and codify the change in the country’s constitution. Greece has claimed the province of Macedonia in its territory is solely Greek.

“The protests over the past days show that Macedonians are united in the defense of our name and Macedonian identity, and do not consider membership in NATO and the EU worthwhile,” Petrov said on Sunday. “Macedonians now fully resist attempts by Washington to usher Macedonia into NATO at the expense of the fundamental principle of national self-determination, and demand entry in the UN family of nations under its name and without being discriminated against, as it has been for the past three decades.”

Earlier in the day, up to 50,000 Macedonians protested in Skopje demanding an end to negotiations about Macedonia’s name. More than 100,000 Macedonians rallied in various cities in Australia and thousands of others protested in Europe — including in Amsterdam, Malmo, Prague — as well as in Washington, DC one day earlier.

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