Shekerinska: We are making our final steps towards NATO, together with the ratification I am expecting the two-thirds majority for the Defence Law

The Republic of North Macedonia is making its final steps before its NATO membership – said Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska, who together with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Rachel Galloway, addressed the attendants at the beginning of the NATO workshop whose focus is the transfer of experiences and best practices aimed at adjusting the work processes of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of North Macedonia to NATO and the competent state institutions deriving from the responsibilities for the upcoming full-fledged membership.

“I am really pleased that with the support of the United Kingdom we are organizing the first series of preparations, with respect to the functioning of the national system in cooperation with our Permanent Mission to NATO and how to make the most of our membership in the most powerful military and political alliance of today”, said Shekerinska.

She added that the news arriving from Spain are positive and that she expects this process to be completed in the next few weeks including the ratification of the Protocol on our NATO membership by the Assembly scheduled for 11 February.

Shekerinska said: “Along with the ratification, we expect the Assembly to support the Defence Law with two-thirds majority, which is why I would like to take this opportunity to send a message that excuses are no longer acceptable. The Defence Law is the realization of our dream as a state. If we are a member of NATO, we must be able to take advantage of the privilege and the power that NATO gives us. To speak about NATO membership, to advocate NATO membership, and then not to vote for the Defence Law is unacceptable. I hope and I expect that every member of our Parliament, faced with the national obligation to support the success of our country will do the right thing, will make the right decision and together with the ratification of the NATO protocol we will have the complete legislation of that the Defence Law.“

Minister Shekerinska stressed that the key steps for our membership in NATO and the EU will be made in the next two weeks.

“The Defence Law and the Law on Public Prosecution are the test for every MP and every political party. Whether they are speaking about EU and NATO only declaratively, or whether they are willing to actually support the real reforms that the EU and NATO stood behind”, said Shekerinska.

In her speech, Ambassador Galloway noted that in the past year and a half while she has been the ambassador, she saw the optimism and the scope of the tasks at the time when it was unclear as to how many partners will succeed to ratify this agreement. “The speed with which everyone ratified the agreement shows the support and interest for North Macedonia to join the Alliance”, said Galloway.

She added that the United Kingdom is particularly proud of the strong security and bilateral ties with North Macedonia, which have enhanced in recent years, and that it will continue to support the European integration processes of the country.

“North Macedonia is already playing a role in NATO and we are look forward to assume its role as a full-fledged member on the same table with the allies. We have already seen this during the NATO summit in December when the flag of North Macedonia was proudly hoisted together with the flags of the other members” – said Galloway.

The beginning of today’s workshop was opened by the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Zoran Popov, who said that the United Kingdom is one of our closest allies in the Euro – Atlantic integration and expressed his gratitude for the cooperation in the implementation of the commitments resulting from our membership in NATO.