Officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993, but, as a result of an ongoing dispute with Greece over use of the name Macedonia, it was admitted under the provisional description of “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”(Поранешна Југословенска Република Македонија, tr. Poranešna Jugoslovenska Republika Makedonija), abbreviated as FYROM, used by international organizations such as European Union, Council of Europe, NATO etc.
A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo[a] to the northwest, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. It constitutes approximately the northwestern third of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises the neighbouring parts of northern Greece and smaller portions of southwestern Bulgaria and southeastern Albania. The country’s capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to the 2002 census. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar, Kavadarci, and Strumica. It has over 50 lakes, plus sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m (6,562 ft). Macedonia is a member of the UN and of the Council of Europe. Since December 2005 it has also been a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.