Macedonia, officially the Republic of Macedonia, is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in south-east 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. A landlocked country, the Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Kosovo to the north-west, Serbia to the north, Bulgaria to the east, Greece to the south, and Albania to the west. The country itself constitutes approximately the north-western half of the larger geographical region of Macedonia, which also comprises parts of Greece and Bulgaria. The country's capital is Skopje, which has around 600,000 inhabitants. Other cities include Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo and Ohrid. 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.