“I urge you to be proud of all members of the Army, past and present, because you played a key role in writing the NATO ticket. We have turned thirty years of hope and anticipation into results. We have become the 30th member of the Alliance and part of the most powerful military-political alliance of today”, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, in her speech at the central celebration of August 18, the Day of the Army.
“I also want to thank the trust that the citizens have given me to participate and complete two key processes for our homeland: EU candidate status, but now above all NATO membership”, Shekerinska added.
“When I came to the helm of the defence three years ago, I could not accept the conditions I encountered”, the Minister said. “In order to earn NATO membership, but also to improve the status of members of the Army, we met several conditions. Increasing the Army budget more than twice, increasing the salaries, new personal and combat equipment, new laws that will support the Army. That is how we managed to become a NATO member”, Shekerinska pointed out.
The Minister expressed appreciation to the US Office of Defence Cooperation for the 26 years, as she said, joint path in education, training and development of the capabilities of the Army, for which the US Office was decorated by President Pendarovski with the Order of Military Merit. The Order of Military Merit was also awarded to the battalions of the Operations Command and the Military Medical Support Battalion, which were at the frontlines of the crisis with COVID and with the migrants.
The celebration of the 28th birthday of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia was also addressed by President Stevo Pendarovski and the Chief of General Staff, Vasko Gjurchinovski, and was also attended by Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, as well as other senior defence and diplomatic guests.