In the first year of full NATO membership, North Macedonia proved that it is an active member of the Alliance and shares the common values and principles of all allies – it was concluded on the phone call between Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The increase of the defence budget to 1.57% of GDP in 2021, of which 25% is allocated for equipping and modernizing the Army, the progress in the process of military integration in NATO, the participation in missions and the increased contribution to the KFOR mission in Kosovo, legitimize North Macedonia as a credible ally in the Alliance with a significant share in NATO’s efforts for peace and security and a significant factor of stability in the region – said Minister Shekerinska.
Shekerinska noted that the country’s military integration into the Alliance is proceeding smoothly and expressed confidence that despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, the process will be completed by the end of this year.
Shekerinska expressed gratitude for the prompt and efficient support of the Alliance in dealing with the consequences of the pandemic, which included, among other things, the donation of 60 transport ventilators from the NATO Trust Fund in a total value of 1.4 million Euros.
“The support in dealing with the effects of the coronavirus that has arrived from the Alliance has shown that strong solidarity and an extremely high level of trust between the Allies are the Alliance’s main driving force. All for one and one for all is not only our commitment, it is the principle on which we build the unity”, the Minister pointed out.
The phone call between Minister Shekerinska and the Secretary General of the Alliance, Stoltenberg, took place just one month before the celebration of the first anniversary of North Macedonia’s membership in NATO.