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 half of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises parts of Greece and 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 more than 50 lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 m. Macedonia is a member of the UN and 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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