Shekerinska after the meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council: We have adopted a new operational plan for dealing with the coronavirus, we are creating a joint fund and medical equipment supplies

The NATO allies, including our country, adopted today a new operational plan for dealing with the pandemic, as well as a decision to create a joint fund to cover the urgent needs of member states, and for creating medical equipment supplies, informed the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, after the second session of the North Atlantic Council Meeting of Defence Ministers.

“All 30 allies are faced with the same problem, and that is a pandemic that has already reached a global scale, so the best and most efficient way is to have a single position, a coordinated response, to show solidarity in the assistance, but also to be quick in the reaction”, Minister Shekerinska said. She explained that the joint fund will be used for procurement and provision of medical equipment, transport of equipment, patients and health professionals, while the supplies will be created through the procurements from this fund, as well as donations from member states.

The Minister pointed out that NATO has so far played an important role in support of member states, but also partner countries in dealing with the virus, through the transport of critical medical equipment as well as setting up almost 100 field hospitals. This engagement, the Minister said, was in many ways similar to the engagement of our Army both in terms of supporting civilian institutions, but also in terms of utilizing the capacities of the mobile hospital.

“If anyone had any dilemmas, this is exactly what it means to be part of the Alliance. This means participating in decisions, but also using the benefits of such an organized action and solidarity. This means that we are not alone and that we are not small, but that we are part of the really most powerful military – political alliance. That we are part of a larger family that is supported and helps whenever it is required”, Minister Shekerinska said.

During today’s second and last session of this ministerial meeting, in addition to the Defence Ministers of NATO member states, the High Representative of the European Union, Josep Borrell, also participated, as well as the Defence Ministers of Sweden, Finland and Australia.

On a journalist question related with the procurement of new uniforms for members of the Army, the minister pointed out that a problem that was not solved for several years has now been resolved.

“I am really pleased that finally the soldiers can feel that they are valued by their country, because they have higher salaries, because they have increased compensation and this is why when they put on the uniform of their country they will feel proud and satisfied and appreciated”, said Minister Shekerinska.