Shekjerinska – Stoltenberg: We shall make this region better and more stable

Brussels, 13 February, 2019 - 15:05 (META) 

The Minister of Defense Radmila Shekjerinska, before the NATO’s official ministerial meeting on the level of ministers of defense, has met today in Brussels with the Alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Before the meeting, Shekjerinska has expressed her gratitude to Secretary general Stoltenberg for his sincere support and personal pleading in the process of our country’s accession process into NATO.

“It’s an honor and a privilege for me and my country to be present here, for the first time and to attend NATO’s ministerial meeting. It is proof that the political courage pays off, that the changes are possible even in the Balkans, even in times such as these. It is also proof that there are no problems that aren’t frozen problems, only frozen solutions. I feel privileged to sit beside you and the remaining colleagues ministers of defense” said Shekjerinska.

She expressed her conviction that we can make our region better and more stable and that we can show that NATO’s open door policy is not just empty words but real acts and real pledge.

NATO’s Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed that this is a big moment.

“This is a big day and I look forward to the day when you will become a fully-fledged member as soon as the ratification process of the accession protocol by all 29 allies is over,” said Stoltenberg.

After the meeting with the Secretary-General, Minister Shekjerisnka will take part in the meeting of NATO’s ministers of defense. During the meeting, the minister will be seated between NATO’s Secretary, Stoltenberg and US Secretary of Defense.

Shekjerinska: Macedonia is only weeks away from the chance to join NATO

Skopje, 21 January, 2019 - 19:22 (META) 

The Macedonian government estimates that we are weeks away from the chance for Macedonia to join its allies and we should follow the procedures with Greece. This refers to the procedures within NATO, and in order for the member-countries, including Slovenia, to sign the Accession Protocol, it is necessary that the Prespa Agreement is ratified. We are expecting that the Greek parliament this week will fulfil its part of the obligations. The moment when the agreement is completely ratified, we are expecting all 29 members to sign the previously prepared Accession Protocol swiftly. When that is over, Greece can ratify the Protocol, the Macedonian Minister of Defense Radmila Shekjerinska stated at the meeting with her Slovenian colleague Karl Erjavec, who is visiting Macedonia.

Erjavec was reminiscent of the NATO’s summit in Bucharest in 2008 and expressed his gratification that Macedonia, unlike then, is on its way to become a member of the Alliance.

-I have to express my optimism and I’m hoping that the Greek side will fulfill its part of the agreement. As a minister of defense, I was present at a very sad meeting at the NATO summit in Bucharest when you failed to become a member, but today I see that you are on your way towards entering the Union and I’m happy about it, it brings great joy for me – said Erjavec.

Пак избори в Македония, този път президентски

Скопйе, 21 January, 2019 - 7:24 (META) 

В Република Македония през април ще се проведат шестите президентски избори. Изборите за президент, както предвижда Конституцията на Република Македония, трябва да се насрочат 60 дни преди изтичането на мандата на досегашния държавен глава. На настоящият президент Георге Иванов втория петгодишен мандат му изтича на 12 май.

Въпреки, че досега нито една политическа партия не е излязла със собствен кандидат за президент на републиката, някои политици проявяват интерес да се включат в надпреварата за “баща на държавата” с зачестилите изяви в обществото и в медиите.

Премиерът Зоран Заев в последното изявление посочи, че около десетина имена са във игра за кандидат за президентските избори на своята партия СДСМ и обяви, че партията ще заседяава със най-висши органи уикенда и ще дискутира и затвори този въпрос.

Досега като възможни кандидати на СДСМ в обществото се споменават имената на миналия кандидат за президент Стево Пендаровски, министърът на отбраната Радмила Шекеринска, министърът Оливър Спасовски.

Правителственият партньор, партията ДУИ стои на становището, че на Македония и трябва консенсусен кандидат за президент, който ще бъде приемлив за всички граждани от всяка етническа принадлежност, с еднакви стратегически интереси на мнозинството от гражданите на Македония. От партия казаха, че такъв кандидат е проф. Денко Малевски, който също е приемлив и при СДСМ.

Опозиционната ВМРО-ДПМНЕ публикува обява за отчитане на кандидатури за избор на президент на страната, която ще бъде отворена до 31 януари. Кандидатът за президент ще избират 550 делегати на Конвенцията на ВМРО-ДПМНЕ с тайно гласуване. За избран се счита кандидатът, получил най-много гласове от всички кандидати, но не по-малко от 1/3 от общия брой на делегатите.

Депутатът от ВМРО-ДПМНЕ Влатко Гьорчев първ обяви, че се кандидатира на обявата в неговата собствена партия за избор на техен кандидат за президент на страната. Като възможни кандидати на ВМРО-ДПМНЕ, въпреки Горчев, се споменават и бивши депутати и министри от тази партия.

Президентският мандат трае пет години. За президент на републиката също лице може да бъде избран най-много два пъти.

Президентът трябва да бъде гражданин на Република Македония, на изборите да има поне 40 години живот.

Конституцията предвижда кандидат за президент на републиката да могат да предложат най-малко 10000 избиратели или най-малко 30 депутати. Преди изборната кампания на кандидатите за президент на Република Македония започва 20 дни преди деня на изборите.

With Support Centers, the army will be taking care of the families of the soldiers in peacekeeping missions

Skopje, 26 December, 2018 - 18:42 (META) 

The Ministry of Defense and ARM will form Support Centers that will be taking care of the families of the soldiers while they are on a mission out of the country, the Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekjerinska, announced today.

She and the Chief of the General Staff of the ARM, Major General Vasko Gjurchinovski at the ARM’s House in Skopje have organized a meeting with the families of the ARM’s soldiers that are away on peacekeeping missions and provided video link with the peacekeeping forces that are on NATO, UN and EU missions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Bosnia and Hercegovina.

-The Transition Centers that already exist within the army and the ministry of defense shall be converted into Support Centers to all the families and therefore, when the nice part is over, the useful part of the meeting will continue, when we will have talks with the colleagues from the ministry and ARM about the ways of providing more assistance for the families while their closest ones are abroad in a mission. We are aware that for a father or mother, a husband, wife, a son or daughter to do his duty peacefully, the first thing we have to do is provide help for their closest families, so the soldiers will not worry about them – Shekjerinska said.

Shekjerinska: For the second year the defense budget has been increasing and it will be 135 euros in 2019

Skopje, 23 November, 2018 - 16:37 (META) 

The Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekjerinska, at today’s press conference elaborated the defense budget for 2019, which after a 10 year fall, for the second year has been increasing and this year it will be 135 million euros.

“Last year, the budget was increased for 15% and the increase for 2019 compared to the rebalanced budget for 2018 is above 33%. Next year, apart from the 5% increase of the salaries for the members of the army, there will be an increase of the salaries of the employees at the ministry, said Shekjerinska.

She also said that the government will not back down from the plan for an increase of the budget for each year by 0.2 percentage points of the GDP and that will be shown with the budget for 2019.

“The budget is for development and is reformatory, with a purpose of improvement of the equipment, the working conditions for the members of the army and is supportive for the accomplishment of Macedonia’s strategic goal. the NATO membership” said Shekjerinska and said that one of the biggest categories in the budget is the ite that refers to goods and services i.e. 30 million of euros for the acquisition of uniforms that is currently underway, but it will be paid from the next year’s budget, the part that refers to the delivery of boots, food, spare parts, training and education of the members of the army.

Re-balance to reduce budget resources for NATO integration

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 12:58 (META) 

The government, with the budget re-balance for 2018, plans to reduce defense spending in the Ministry of Defense planned for NATO integration. in the expenditures section of the Ministry of Defense for the 2018 budget, 935 million were envisaged for security and defense promotion, namely, the integration into NATO, and with the re-balance this item has been reduced to 855 million.

It is remarkable that the reduction of the money provided for NATO integration comes at a time when Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and the National Coordinator for NATO Stevo Pendarovski as members of the NATO Integration Committee , are staying at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels, where the final phase of the country’s accession talks with NATO, which will last until October 19, began.

According to recent statements, if the constitutional changes to accept the agreement with Greece are passed, the whole process should be completed by the end of December, this year. Then, in January 2019, Macedonia should sign the Accession Protocol with the right to participate in all NATO departments, but without the possibility of voting, and the accession of the country to full membership should happen after the member states ratify the Accession Protocol, within their national parliaments.

Shekjerinska: The parliament has a historic opportunity and responsibility to open the doors of NATO

Skopje, 18 October, 2018 - 10:48 (META) 

The parliament has a historic opportunity and a historic responsibility to open the door for Macedonia and to enter into NATO, said in an interview for MIA the Vice Prime Minister and the Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekjerinska, who is leading the Macedonian team who will start officially in Brussels the accession negotiations for Macedonia’s membership into the Alliance.

-If a two-third majority is secured, Macedonia will show Europe ad the world, including the region that it knows what it wants and knows how to reach that goal. If the party and personal interests prevail, it will be a big minus for the Parliament and for us it will mean calling for snap elections – stressed Shekjerinska.

Regarding the potential breach of the deadlines determined by the Prespa Agreement if snap elections become an option, she said that it is better for Macedonia if the process ends with a successful parliamentary procedure. But, if that procedure becomes impossible in the parliament, then the mandate should be returned to the citizens. If the parliament decides to give a chance to the country’s strategic interests, then the situation will be great. If not, the snap elections will be the only option left as there will be no other, said Shekjerinska.

She stressed that they are having contacts with countries partners and with Greece, and she thinks that if the elections become an option it is possible to reach on time for the Greek parliament to ratify the Prespa Agreement and the Agreement for Macedonia’s accession into NATO.

Sekerinska: Work on constitutional changes will begin after referendum

Skopje, 21 September, 2018 - 14:12 (META) 

We will not have any elections or a more clear demonstration than the upcoming referendum. This message will be conveyed to the public by September 30th, therefore our message is for everyone to exercise their right and express their opinion, said Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska while responding to a journalist’s question whether early parliamentary elections are plan “B” after MPs from VMRO – DPMNE said they will not vote on constitutional changes.

When asked whether the constitutional amendments made by the Greek side were received by the Macedonian government through the non-paper, Sekerinska pointed out that during this tome, they are being bombarded with lies and untruths. The goal, she said, is that we should again focus on the needs of the people, rather than focusing on the needs of VMRO-DPMNE and added that if the Greek side thinks that this should be done, it would be part of the agreement.

“The lies are here to not allow us to focus on the essence. We have signed an agreement and that agreement is binding. The obligations are ours, not Greek,” said Sekerinska.

Asked whether a new leadership meeting or political dialogue was needed after the referendum, Sekerinska said that “she does not believe Macedonia needs another round of negotiations on amnesty for crime and corruption.”

Von Der Leyen: The opportunity is now and should be seized

Skopje, 20 September, 2018 - 15:54 (META) 

The German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen at the meeting with her Macedonian colleague, Radmila Shekjerinska in Skopje, stated that Macedonia and Germany share the same values and that “we should continue to build Europe together!” also stating that this country has a unique opportunity that has to be seized.

-From our experience with the unification of Germany, I can say that these opportunities are unique and that should be seized. I want to say that I’m talking about a united Europe and that we want to build Europe together with you – said the German minister who also said that Macedonia and Germany share the same values – democracy, the rule of law, the dignity of individuals, the right for free expression.

After the meetings at the ministry head offices, Shekjerinska said that the frequent visits of the highest German leadership, Chancellor Merkel, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mas and the Minister von der Leyen, show that Germany is a sincere, consistent and true friend of Macedonia.

-We recognize the German leadership even today, when we are receiving a serious, sincere, and open support just when Macedonian citizens are about to decide for their country, for their future. We saw this leadership at the previous NATO summitt when Macedonia received a strong support to be granted the longawating invitation for a membership into the Alliance – said Shekjerinska.

Statistically, half of ARM soldiers have already participated in NATO missions

Skopje, 6 September, 2018 - 16:20 (META) 

More than 4,000 ARM soldiers have participated in NATO missions so far, Defense Minister Radmila Shekerinska said after today’s meeting with the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, at the Ilinden barracks in Skopje.

“Today, the NATO Secretary General was present in Stajkovci, where Macedonia could count on NATO in the recent past. We are now at the “Ilinden” barracks, where we had the opportunity to see the members of the ARM, which NATO could rely on in the past, since more than 4,000 members of our army participated in different missions led by NATO in the past years. For us, this is a partnership on which we can rely on,” said Shekerinska.

She acknowledged that the ARM was “a constant, quiet but very visible and recognized diplomat who lobbied for Macedonia to become a NATO member”.

Currently, the ARM has 8,167 members, which means that more than half of its members have already been on NATO-led missions. With the new Strategic Defense Review, which was adopted in June, the ARM will have approximately 6,800 active military personnel.

Macedonia has participated in NATO-led missions since 2002 when it sent two ARM officers to Afghanistan within the Turkish contingent.