Greece's government, angered by a U.S. decision to recognize the name of neighboring Macedonia, said Friday it would block its Balkan neighbor from joining NATO or the European Union unless the name dispute is resolved.
Greece objects to the country's constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia, because Greece says it implies territorial claims on Greece, which has a territory called Macedonia. The United States announced Thursday that it was recognizing the name.
Greece's warning appeared aimed at preventing European nations from following the U.S. lead.
"It is well known that the accession of a European country to the EU or NATO requires the unanimous agreement of all existing members," government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said.
Macedonia, which won independence from Yugoslavia, joined the United Nations under the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," to sidestep Greek objections.