Today in the “Ilinden” barracks, the first phase arrived of the Norwegian donation of a thousand kilograms of protective masks, thermometers, safety goggles and other medical equipment worth a total of about 200,000 Euros.
The Norwegian donation is intended for the Field hospital ROLE-2 at the Military Medical Centre, which is also donated by the Kingdom of Norway, and is implemented through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. This is another example of the benefits of our country’s membership in the Alliance and the support that the Allies are giving in this extremely complex time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Today we are at an important activity for our country where once again the importance of our fully-fledged NATO membership and NATO contribution to the Republic of North Macedonia is being shown”, said the State Secretary in the Ministry, Dragan Nikolic, after the handover of the donation. Nikolic expressed gratitude for the donation and noted that with this move both Norway and the Alliance have proven that there is a high level of solidarity and cooperation between NATO member states. He added that the Ministry and the Army have made available all of their resources and logistical support to the state in dealing with the pandemic since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
Norwegian Minister of Defence, Frank Bakke Jensen, said in a video message that this donation is a symbol of gratitude to our country, which is considered an ally and a very good friend, and that it will provide the basic tools in the fight against COVID-19.
The Chief of the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje, Colonel Zoran Jankovic, said that this was a joint activity, where in addition to North Macedonia and Norway, the NATO Support and Procurement Agency also participated in the process. Colonel Jankovic emphasized that Norway is very active in the medical field of the entire Balkan region and that within the NATO defence planning process it is not only about armament, but also about the field of medicine, which has proven to be very important, especially in this period.
For the Norwegian attaché accredited for our country, Lieutenant Colonel Egil Daltveit, this donation is another step in the long and strong military-medical cooperation between the two countries.
“We have trained your doctors and nurses and helped equip your military medical facilities, such as your field hospital. You have sent your male and female soldiers to serve in Afghanistan on a mission led by Norway. With their excellent and professional operations, your people saved the lives of Norwegian soldiers when they were severely wounded by the Taliban. We have not forgotten, and we will not forget. The relationship between our countries, and especially between our armed forces over the years, has become very close and friendly. “Today we are even closer than friends, we are allies”, Lt. Col. Daltveit said.