A flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was raised in front of a Macedonian government building in Skopje on Tuesday, as the future 'Republic of North Macedonia' makes another step towards becoming a member of the alliance.

The raising of the flag comes after Macedonian officials signed the NATO accession protocol in Brussels on February 6. Representatives of all 29 NATO members also signed the protocol, which will make the Republic of North Macedonia NATO's 30th member should it be ratified by each state.

"After being stuck on the Balkan sidetracks for decades, we succeeded in returning on the main highway towards Europe. We can be proud that we are living this new age - an era where we'll build a democratic society of equal citizens who are striving to conquer European values," said Zaev, addressing the attendees.

Earlier, the parliaments in both Skopje and Athens ratified a deal to rename the country from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia, paving the way for its possible accession to NATO. The deal was met with protests in both countries.

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