Assurances by the authorities in Skopje concerning the use of the name “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” in international organizations are thus unreliable and untrustworthy. FYROM officials ignore their commitments. The responsibility for the consequences of this uncompromising position belongs exclusively and completely to the government in Skopje.
Many Americans may think this is a minor issue. But the history of the region, not to mention of Europe as a whole, demonstrates that whenever irredentist claims are left unaddressed, the seeds of future conflicts are sown. Europe today is governed by the rule of law; the completion of the European project in the Balkans—and the extension of a zone of peace and prosperity—rest upon the willingness of governments to live up to their international commitments. Obligations are like a tapestry; even pulling on what might appear to outsiders to be a small and insignificant thread can end up unraveling the entire work. We have too much invested in the stability of the region to allow this to happen.