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Macedonia

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Macedonia (FYROM), 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.

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 neighboring parts of northern Greece and a smaller portion in southwestern Bulgaria. The country's capital is Skopje.

The country officially celebrates September 8, 1991 as Independence day, with regard to the referendum endorsing independence from Yugoslavia, albeit legalizing participation in future union of the former states of Yugoslavia. Macedonia remained at peace through the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s. A few very minor changes to its border with Yugoslavia were agreed upon to resolve problems with the demarcation line between the two countries. However, it was seriously destabilised by the Kosovo War in 1999, when an estimated 360,000 ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo took refuge in the country. Although they departed shortly after the war, soon after, Albanian nationalists on both sides of the border took up arms in pursuit of autonomy or independence for the Albanian-populated areas of Macedonia.

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