Šekerinska from Vermont: Macedonia deserves NATO membership

Washington, 2 May, 2018 - 10:46 (META) 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, Radmila Šekerinska, during her official visit to the United States stated that Macedonia deserves NATO membership.

She told a news conference in the US state of Vermont that Macedonia has shown that it is a dedicated partner to which Alliance members can count on.

“My goal is to seek the support of the strategic partner of Macedonia, the United States, ahead of the NATO Summit. Macedonia deserved its place in NATO, we have worked hard. We have shown that Macedonia is a committed partner to which Alliance members can count on. We believe that the invitation to Macedonia for NATO membership will contribute to our stability, but also to the stability of the region, and it will be in the US interest, said Šekerinska.

She met in Vermont with Governor Phil Scott and National Guard Commander Major General Steven Cray.

The Defense Secretary is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis today in Washington.

Baily: There is a real opportunity for Macedonia to join NATO soon

Skopje, 4 April, 2018 - 15:24 (META) 

There is a real opportunity for Macedonia to join NATO soon as there is big difference when talking about the country today compared to the past, US Ambassador Jess Baily said today at the debate “NATO and you” organized by the Ministry of Defense, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia (ATA-Macedonia ), NATO Liaison Office and the Croatian Embassy on the occasion of the Day of the Alliance – 4 April.

“What does NATO membership for Macedonia and its citizens mean? This means that you will be allies, not partners, friends, neighbors with other member states. Today, marking the 69th anniversary of the signing of the Washington Treaty, the Alliance is an alliance that is based on respect for human rights and freedom, democracy and the rule of law”, said Baily.

According to the US ambassador, the low level of rule of law is the country makes it first vulnerable to corruption, but also to internal and external enemies.

He added that joining NATO would help overcome internal political divisions in the country. He stressed that it is necessary that the systemic reforms introduced in Macedonia should not be left only on paper, that is, the laws that are being passed in Parliament are further practically implemented.

Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska addressed the debate, pointing out that NATO membership is of particular importance because the country will become part of the world’s most powerful economic union that fosters democracy and guarantees security for its members. She noted that on the list of countries with the highest quality of life, the first eight are NATO members.

Sekerinska added that joining NATO would allow the country’s uninterrupted economic progress, and would be a guarantee of its further democratization.

“For the past 10 months, we have shown that democratic tissue in Macedonia is not lost. If you turn on your TVs, you will no longer see propaganda. The government is not avoiding discussions and is introducing a policy of transparent operations”, said the Minister of Defense.

Šekerinska: We tell all countries – Strategic goals are our own

Skopje, 30 March, 2018 - 16:31 (META) 

Statements we have received from Russia lately have not been positive, but they are of no surprise, especially after Russia shared their views last year concerning our strategic goals, said deputy prime minister and defense minister, Radmila Šekerinska after visiting the Military Medical Centre in Skopje.

“We want to have good relations with Russia while investing in good relations with everyone, our neighbours and other countries – strategic goals are our own”, says Šekerinska.

She pointed out that since 1992, Macedonia has expressed its national consensus on EU and NATO membership.

“We do not interfere in other issues, however, we want out decisions to be our own. This way, our sovereignty is protected, and therefore our independence is defended, this way we protect our own country”, said Šekerinska when answering a reporter’s question.

The Governments of Macedonia and Bulgaria will hold a session in Strumica

Sofia, 2 November, 2017 - 16:25 (META) 

Macedonia and Bulgaria are an example of good neighborly relations and cooperation which strengthens the security of the whole region, and Bulgaria unequivocally supports Macedonia on its path to the European Union and NATO and will help implement the strategic goals of the country. This was emphasized at the meetings between Minister of Defense, Radmila Šekerinska with the Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Borisov and Bulgarian Minister of Defense, Krasimir Karakachanov in Sofia.

The Ministry of Defense stated that Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov said at the meeting with Šekerinska, when Bulgaria takes over the presidency of the European Union, they will provide all of Macedonia’s support in its Euro-integration process.

Šekerinska pointed out that in the last few months they have shown that there is strong political will for concrete cooperation, real positive and friendly relations between the two countries, and a new climate of cooperation.

The Minister of Defense said that the upcoming session between the two governments in Strumica, will show that cooperation is deepening.

The Minister of Defense of Bulgaria, Karakachanov, expressed his satisfaction that from August 1st to the present, contact between Bulgaria and Macedonia has intensified with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s government than in the last 20 years. He stressed that Bulgaria’s policy of Macedonia’s membership in NATO and the EU is clear, and it is categorical support.

Gottemoeller: Montenegro’s entry into NATO means that the doors are open for Macedonia too

Brussels, 27 September, 2017 - 20:18 (META) 

NATO members and the international community were horrified by the violence in Parliament this April and we welcome the progress that has been made ever since, said NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, at a joint press conference with defense ministers and foreign ministers of Macedonia, Radmila Šekerinska and Nikola Dimitrov, who are visiting NATO headquarters in Brussels.

She reminded the message from the Secretary General of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, after meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in June this year, that it is now important for all parties to overcome their differences and work constructively “to implement the necessary reforms, by strengthening good governance and rule of law in a multi-ethnic society.”

“This challenging reform agenda takes time and effort, but the country will benefit from the reforms and towards the achievement of Euro-Atlantic goals”, said Stoltenberg’s deputy.

Gottemoeller pointed out that the fact that Montenegro became the 29th member of NATO, shows that NATO’s doors are open and that the Alliance continues to support Macedonia on its path to NATO membership.

Defense and Foreign Ministers, Šekerinska and Dimitrov, today at NATO Headquarters, are participating in the North Atlantic Council meeting with the Republic of Macedonia.

Karakachanov will arrive in Macedonia tomorrow for official visit

Skopje, 17 September, 2017 - 13:53 (META) 

The Minister of Bulgaria, Krasimir Karakachanov, will have a meeting with the Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekjerinska, announced today the Ministry of Defense.

This is the first official visit of a high-ranking Bulgarian official after the signing of the Agreement for good neighborly relations between Macedonia and Bulgaria on the 1st of August in Skopje. Karakachov was also part of the delegation led by the Bulgarian Prime MInister, Bojko Borisov. Back then he stated that Bulgaria will help Macedonia on its roads towards NATO.

The welcoming reception of the Bulgarian delegation is planned for tomorrow starting at 9 o’clock in front of the plateau of the Ministry of Defense. Half an hour later, a meeting between the delegations of both countries is scheduled, and at 10.30, Shekjerinska and Karakachanov will talk to the press.

The Bulgarian minister will also visit the “Ilinden” army barracks where the regiment of special operations will conduct an exercise.

Otherwise, Karachanov is a longstanding leader of VMRO-BND, that is known for its extreme nationalism towards Macedonia.

Shekjerinska will visist NATO headquarters in Brussels on the 27th of September

Brussels, 16 September, 2017 - 17:01 (META) 

On the 27th of September, the Minister of Defense, Radmila Shekjerinska, will visit NATO’s headquarters in Brussels where she will have a meeting with the Alliance’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg.

NATO’s General Secretary has sent a letter to inform Shekjerinska that the Alliance has accepted the Government’s request for Macedonia to be a part of NATO’s program for advancing the defense education, and in his notification, he states that he is eager to welcome the Minister of Defense at NATO’s headquarters.

“We eagerly await your cooperation and the continuation of our discussion during your visit to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels on the 27th of September” states Stoltenberg’s letter addressed to Shekjerinska, announced the Ministry of Defense.

Regarding Macedonia’s participation in NATO’s program, Stoltenberg has stated that in the next period a team of NATO’s Political Affairs and Security Policy Division will organize a study visit to Macedonia for determining the support it needs.

Ivanov demands more money for ARM while Šekerinska calls upon faster membership into NATO

Skopje, 19 August, 2017 - 9:04 (META) 

Last night, at the Army’s stadium in the City park in Skopje, a central celebration took place to mark the 25th anniversary of the forming of the Army of Republic of Macedonia.

During the celebration, which began by firing artillery weapons, the President Gjorge Ivanov and the Minister of Defense, Radmila Šekerinska addressed the attendees. The Head of the State remarked that the army was engaged without his decision and Šekerinska requested an engagement for accomplishing the vision for a NATO membership.

-Due to a lack of resources and time, including without a decision by the army’s supreme commander and without conditions when a crisis is declared, more often the army is engaged in tasks that are under the jurisdiction of other institutions. I repeat, the army is engaged without my decision and when the conditions for calling a state of crisis aren’t met. It is a serious violation of the law that I will not tolerate. ARM is spending its resources on others’ tasks that under the jurisdiction of other institutions. The circle of responsibility about jurisdictions has to be closed about what, who and when – said Ivanov.

By objecting that he is not involved in the decision-making process he stressed that more money is needed for the army.

Minister Radmila Šekerinska stressed that the road towards forming the army in the last 25 years was fraught with numerous challenges for which, as she said, most of the ARM members know that better than her and other previous and future ministers.

Shekjerinska doesn’t want to comment Moscow’s requests for interview transcripts

Skopje, 16 August, 2017 - 12:12 (META) 

The Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekjerinska doesn’t plan to ask for the transcripts from the interview she gave for the British news agency “Bloomberg,” informs the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for Meta.

“The Minister of Defense has no intention to interfere in the work of domestic or foreign media and because of that we don’t want to comment the demands of the Russian MFA to be sent the interview transcript,” said the MoD.

The Ministry stressed that Minister Shekjerinska has given statements for other media that are already available to the public.

“The Government’s stance including Minister Shekjerinska regarding the strategic goal for a membership into NATO and good relations with the countries partners of the international community including Russia are clear and unequivocal,” said the MoI.

Russia is asking for transcripts from Šekerinska’s interview with “Bloomberg”

Moscow, 15 August, 2017 - 18:35 (META) 

Accusations made against Moscow for alleged interference in the internal affairs of Macedonia have been rendered unfounded, said spokeswoman from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Marija Zakharova, regarding Minister of Defense, Radmila Šekerinska’s interview with the “Bloomberg” agency.

Zakharova, according to “Sputnik”, said such statements are contradictory to the position of Skopje and the efforts of the Macedonian authorities to develop constructive relations with Russia and strengthen bilateral cooperation.

“Considering that the previous victim of “Bloomberg” was recently Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabić, we urge the agency to publish the full text of the interview, as well as as the audio and video footage of the conversation with Šekerinska”, said Zakharova, adding that such accusations come from russophobes who make public false and unfounded allegations.

She determined that they believe the insinuations are attempts by the enemies of Russia and Macedonia to complicate the traditionally friendly relations between the two countries.

“They are trying to turn the attention of the public from the real threats, such as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Macedonia, especially by involving countries in NATO, without taking national interests into account”, said Zakharova.

She pointed out that the Russian MFA calls on Macedonia to clarify whether Šekerinska’s comments, which were published by “Bloomberg”, are true, as no one has denied it so far.

“Bloomberg” recently published an interview with Šekerinska, where she said that the new Government is stepping up efforts for Macedonia to join NATO, arguing that membership in the military alliance will protect the country from Russian interference.