What kind of equipment purchased MOI from Israel in 2011, which was discussed in audio recordings released by opposition leader Zoran Zaev? Besides claims of one and the other side, there is no official document attesting to what exactly it is.
Zoran Zaev and SDSM stand behind the claim that it is the purchase of equipment for tapping and that, for it, Director of UBK Sasho Mijalkov took a commission of nearly one million euros.
On the other hand, the head of the secret police and MOI deny and say that it is a donation from “friendly services, totaling 5,557,377 euros, which was used to purchase equipment for a special police unit that raised their combat readiness.”
Still, even MOI has no information what kind of equipment is concerned because the deal was registered under the classification level “state secret”.
Macedonia and Israel have a perennial partnership and cooperation, some of which are known to the public, while for some there are only assumptions and speculation.
Cooperation in most cases refers to the supply of military equipment, and most common subject of the Israeli side is the company “Elbit”.
- 2003 – The Macedonian Ministry of Defense and “Elbit” signed a contract for the modernization of several helicopters, such as “MI-17” and “MI-24”. The modernization of the helicopters began in 2004 and went through several phases and aircraft that were upgraded, received a modern system for night flying, viewfinders, navigation systems, identification and communication, new electronic systems in the cockpit, power steering with arms etc.
- 2008 – Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv signed an agreement “to deepen cooperation between the two ministries in the area of security, sharing information and technology”.
2011 – Ministry of Defense and the company “Elbit Systems” signed an agreement for a modern center for pilot training for the Army, MOI and the other institutions, worth 43 million euros. As reported at the time, the Department of Defense separates 5.3 million euros a year for the next eight years for the project. The part covered by the Israeli company, according to Defense Minister at the time Zoran Konjanovski, in accordance to the agreement, was classified as a state secret. The training center was officially launched in March last year. Under the agreement, the training center should become wholly owned by the Ministry of Defense and the Republic of Macedonia in 2019. For the needs of the center, among other things, a few school flight simulator helicopters and two modern simulators for helicopters were procured.
- 2009 – 2010- Special Police Unit of the Ministry of Interior (Rapid Deployment Unit) as part of its equipment has
sophisticated Israeli attack rifle “Tavor TAR 21”, according to experts, “pearl of Israeli military technology”. Manufacturer of the weapon is “Israel Military Industries” (IMI). There is no official information from MOI about the purchase of guns, how many pieces are purchased, what amount is paid for them when the procurement was executed. According to unofficial information, in the procurement of system “Tabor” was included Israeli company “Elbit”. The only evidence that the police special forces have this special rifle is the footages of arrests involving members of the unit. Also, on the website “Wikipedia”, with the summary and specifications of “TAR 21”, Macedonia, i.e. its special police unit, was cited between countries that use the attack rifle.
- 2010 – There is no official confirmation, but from the beginning of the project “Safe City”, i.e. before the installation of cameras on Skopje roads, were heard unofficial information and speculation that the project involved Israeli company and Israeli services.