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), abbreviated as FYROM.
A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo 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 a smaller portion in southwestern Bulgaria. 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.
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