Shekerinska on a meeting with defence attachés: despite the coronavirus, 2020 was for us the year of NATO

Today, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, participated on the regular annual video – meeting with the defence attachés accredited in our country. At the meeting Minister Shekerinska referred on the past year and the achievements in the defence and in the Army.

“Although 2020 was the year of the coronavirus, for us and our country it was also the year of NATO. We achieved the decades-long commitment to join the Alliance and I am very pleased to have our first meeting with the attachés as the 30th member of NATO”, the minister said.

Shekerinska stressed that our country’s NATO membership means investment in the future and in the safety of the citizens and an honour for the Army. “Our Army is no longer just the Army of North Macedonia, but also a NATO Army. By joining NATO we accepted the standards and criteria for the Army and the growth of the defence budget, which enabled the past 2020 to also be a year of equipping and modernization of the Army and improving the conditions for functioning”, Shekerinska underlined.

Referring to the contribution to international missions, the Minister noted that we remain in the mission in Afghanistan and that preparations are being made to send one medical team in cooperation with the Kingdom of Norway, which will be stationed in Kabul from next spring to September.
“We are also contributing to regional security by deploying 44 of our soldiers and officers to the KFOR mission in Kosovo. We plan to increase this mission to 180 troops. We are also present in the Central African Republic with two officers and we continue to give contribution to the ALTHEA and UNIFIL missions”, Minister Shekerinska stressed.

At the meeting, which was also attended by the Chief of General Staff of the Army, Vasko Gjurchinovski, a presentation was given on the participation of the Army in dealing with the coronavirus, our army participation in international military exercises, achievements in terms of gender perspectives, the improved capacity of the military range Krivolak, the transformation of the Ministry of Defence and the capabilities of our Public Affairs Regional Centre.