The donation of 60 transport ventilators from the NATO Pandemic Response Trust Fund, whose total value is 1.4 million Euros, arrived today at Skopje International Airport.
The handover ceremony was attended by the Minister of Defense Radmila Shekerinska, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Health, Bujar Osmani and Venko Filipce, the Chief of NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Colonel Zoran Jankovic, as well as the Italian Deputy Ambassador, Alessio Liquori, the Defense Attaché Colonel Giuseppe Montalto and the Crisis Management Center Director Agron Buxhaku.
Minister Shekerinska underlined that this additional medical assistance announced by NATO Secretary General at the beginning of the month means direct assistance to our country with equipment that is important in this health crisis.
“These are assets worth over 1.4 million Euros, donated by USAID and are part of the NATO stockpile of medical equipment located in Italy, and they arrived here by plane from the Italian Air Force, which was funded by Luxembourg. “It means that several NATO member states worked together within the Alliance so that we get help when we need it most,” said Minister Shekerinska. She added that membership in the most powerful military-political alliance means that when you have the greatest problems, you will have someone to rely on.
The Minister said that today we could see why it was very important for the Republic of North Macedonia to become a member of NATO and to see how this military-political alliance, the most powerful today, means solidarity not only on paper, but solidarity in action.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Osmani, expressed his gratitude for the donation and pointed out that NATO support is extremely important for us as a new full-fledged member of the strongest Alliance in the world.
“The coronavirus is here and it is more dangerous than ever. These are hard times and the help of our friends is more than welcome – we need it. Sincere thanks to the NATO member states, to the NATO Secretariat, for this concrete assistance we received today – a donation that is well targeted, timely, and as I said – necessary for us to strengthen our capacity in the fight against COVID-19 “, underscored Osmani, adding that today’s donation is not the first.
“We are a full-fledged NATO member and this is reflected in our involvement in all mechanisms and funds for dealing with the COVID-19 virus pandemic. “This is the second time that the Republic of Northern Macedonia receives assistance through the NATO Crisis Response Coordination Center,” said Minister Osmani.
Minister Filipce said that the symbol of this health crisis is solidarity. He said that all countries have shown each other what it means to help, to share experiences, knowledge, but also what is the true value of the alliances in which we are now an equal member.
“Let me express my gratitude to the NATO alliance, especially the United States, which since the beginning of the crisis has donated protective and medical equipment without which it would be really difficult for us to manage this great health challenge, this great health crisis.” Specifically, it is a donation of ventilators that are used during transportation of patients from one hospital to another – something that will significantly strengthen our health system in this segment,” Filipce said.