BELGRADE - Earlier on Monday, the words “Government of the Republic of Macedonia” were removed from the cabinet building in the center of Skopje. In addition, the removal of signs containing the country’s old name from border crossings has also started.

The Macedonian authorities have launched the process of officially renaming the country to the Republic of North Macedonia in accordance with the relevant Prespa agreement with Greece.

A Greek national flag flutters atop the parliament building in Athens, Greece June 29, 2015.

This comes after on Friday, the 300-strong Greek parliament ratified the protocol on Macedonia’s accession to NATO by a 153-140 vote, with one abstention.

In June, Skopje and Athens signed an agreement on Macedonia’s new name — the Republic of North Macedonia — which was met with criticism in both countries. Nevertheless, the parliament of Macedonia approved on January 11 amendments to the constitution that would change the country’s name.

The Greek parliament ratified the agreement on January 25.

Greece has its own region called Macedonia, which is why it has been objecting to Skopje’s use of the name. The dispute had long prevented Skopje from pursuing membership in the European Union and NATO.