In accordance with the dynamics of integration of the Republic of North Macedonia into NATO, an annual Conference was held today through video-conference communication in the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff on the integration of the Republic of North Macedonia in the defence structures of NATO, where an outline was given on the achieved level of the Ministry of Defence and the Army in the process of NATO integration.
“The Republic of North Macedonia, as a full member of NATO, is making decisive steps for full integration into the Alliance’s structures”, said Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska, who participated in the conference along with the Chief of General Staff, General Vasko Gjurchinovski, and his deputy, General Azim Nuredin.
All processes are underway – the Minister informed and added that the strategic plans have been adopted, the plan for stable defence budgeting and an increase of funds up to 2 percent of GDP by 2024 is being realized, as well as the very important procurements of new and modern equipment that are under way.
“In terms of the capacities, after 11 years of stagnation, we have started a comprehensive process of modernization. By 2028 we plan to realize 22 projects, for which we will replace the old armament with new and modern equipment, mainly aimed at the Light Infantry Battle Group, our declared NATO capacity”, the minister informed.
Shekerinska stressed that North Macedonia remains together with the allies in the mission in Afghanistan, and our strong commitment to regional security and stability can be seen through the new value of Macedonian contribution to the KFOR mission in Kosovo – currently 44 members of the Army are working within KFOR, and in 2021 we plan to increase that number to 180 members.
General Gjurchinovski pointed out to the senior representatives of the Alliance that the General Staff of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia is intensively and with full capacity carrying out activities with the goal of achieving the set tasks for full integration with NATO, which are being carried out through the current transformation processes in the Army in all fields of jurisdiction of the Army and which we expect to be achieved within the stipulated period.
The conference reviewed the achievements of the Ministry of Defence and the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia in the functional areas of integration (administration, modernization and equipping, force structure, education, training exercises and evaluations, logistics, airspace control and communications and information systems and cyber defence) with the aim of achieving full integration, which is planned for November 2021.
The conference is a continuation of the process that was previously worked on by the working group of the Ministry of Defence and the Army for integration and association in NATO at coordination meetings that took place prior to full membership in NATO.