After Yugoslavia's break up Skopje, relieved of the restraining influence of Belgrade and confronted by the spectre of disintegration from within by its large Albanian minority, sought international recognition as an independent state named the "Republic of Macedonia".
Skopje adopted expansionist clauses in its new constitution and promoted a vigorous propaganda campaign, through the use of Greek-Macedonian symbols, the publication of maps of the future "united" Macedonia with its capital at Thessaloniki, and through the pseudo-irredentist and revisionist theories of its new school textbooks.
Propaganda postcard published in Skopje
Greece declared that it wanted the new state to survive, but rejected its use of the term "Macedonia", which could lead to dangerous confusion, mortgaging stability in the region. In 1992 a mediation by the European Union failed. In 1993, following Skopje's entry in the UN under the provisional name FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia), negotiations through the international organisation also failed.
In February 1994, after Skopje's attitude hardened and the negotiations stagnated, Greece imposed an embargo over FYROM, aiming to quicken the pace for reaching a solution to the issue. Eventually in September 1995 an interim agreement was signed in New York between the two countries which provided for a modus vivendi and a seven-year long period of bilateral negotiations under the auspices of the UN.