Balkans | North Macedonian Defense Minister spoke to AA on the third anniversary of NATO membership

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Balkans |  North Macedonian Defense Minister spoke to AA on the third anniversary of NATO membership

North Macedonian Defense Minister Slavanka Petrovska said: “No one can guarantee the security and stability of our state if we are not a member of NATO.” He said.

North Macedonian Defense Minister Slavianka Petrovska stated that no one can guarantee the security and stability of his country if he is not a member of NATO, and said: “The Republic of Macedonia has always approached the Republic of Macedonia and supported it positively since its independence. This is something to be appreciated.” He said.

North Macedonia, which officially became a member of NATO on March 27, 2020, is the 30th and youngest member of the alliance.

North Macedonian Defense Minister Petrovska answered the questions of the AA correspondent on the occasion of the third anniversary of his country’s membership in NATO.

Petrovska stressed that his country’s membership in NATO brings many benefits to institutions and the business world, and pointed out that, first and foremost, institutions have the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in the alliance.

“This is really important, it means that enterprises are strengthening their capacity.” Petrovska said, continuing:

In this case, we can talk about the Ministry of Defense. It also means that our military is engaged on an equal footing with the Allies, that is, with the other 29 member states of the Alliance. Winnings in the business world also abound. We are working to motivate companies to develop and promote them constantly, in addition to joining the NATO market because the NATO market is the largest in the world.”

“An attack on a member state of the coalition means an attack on the coalition.”

Referring to the importance of his country’s membership in NATO, Petrovska said: “No one can guarantee the security and stability of our country if we are not a member of NATO.” He said.

North Macedonia’s journey to NATO membership was long and exhausting, Petrovska explained, “Today we can say that we are a safe country while sharing the capabilities of NATO armies. As to whether there is a traditional kind of threat or warning of war, I think the answer is very clear, and this is clearly stated severe in the papers on NATO. An attack on a country that is a member of the alliance means an attack on the alliance.” He rated it.

Stating that NATO is not a threat to anyone but, on the contrary, it is in everyone’s interest, Petrovska said, “it can only be considered a threat by those with whom we do not share the same democratic values.” He said.

“The purpose of hybrid warfare is to disrupt society.”

Referring to mixed warfare, Petrovska shared the view that this is a form of modern warfare in which various means are used to achieve an objective, rather than traditional traditional methods.

“The purpose of hybrid warfare is to disrupt society, create uncertainty or mistrust in institutions, and in many cases create fear or panic among the population,” said Petrovska. The sole purpose of all this is to create some kind of anarchy or disharmony in society in order to defocus what is important and what is necessary for the development of every country,” he said.

Pointing out that North Macedonia had experience with “bomb notifications” in the past period, but they were all proven to be unfounded, Petrovska stressed that the aim is to create panic and mistrust among citizens.

We support an open door policy.

Petrovska said that North Macedonia’s interest is the stability of the Western Balkans and the continuation of the integration process of the countries of the region.

Regarding NATO expansion in the region and possible future membership of Kosovo, Petrovska used the following statements:

The Republic of Macedonia has a clear position regarding NATO expansion. It also supports an open door policy. This means that we will support every country that makes a sovereign decision to join NATO, as long as it meets the conditions and criteria set for that. We also have good relations with the Republic of Kosovo in terms of defense cooperation. Last year, we signed a cooperation agreement with the Minister of Defense, and technical and expert talks began. In this context, we share the experience of North Macedonia’s participation in NATO. In this way, we also believe that we contribute to ensuring regional stability and security through this tool.

Noting that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine showed that everyone should work together for peace, Petrovska said, “The Republic of North Macedonia has always been the advocate for stability, peace and security. Our activity, especially the political government, is in this direction.” He said.

Petrovska reminded that they are hosting the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, and said that they are proud of that and that they are setting an example in solving problems through dialogue.

We support dialogue between every country. We support solving problems, not deepening them, because it is the only way to move our country forward.

“We are proud to help each other and connect”

Referring to the relations between North Macedonia and Turkey, Petrovska drew attention to the deepening of cooperation between the two countries in various fields, including defense.

Petrovska used the following statements:

The Republic of Turkey has always communicated with and supported the Republic of North Macedonia positively since its independence. This is something to be appreciated. Citizens of this country, as well as the government, highly appreciate it. Our cooperation is indisputable. We are deepening this in various areas, including the defensive one. I can proudly say that we have a very good cooperation. This is also a reflection of our cooperation on the political level in general. On the other hand, the cooperation or sympathy between the people of the two countries is also evident. We have a good relationship, and we will continue to do so in the future.”

Noting that NATO member states not only accept each other’s help as a duty but also that they are proud of it, Petrovska described the aid sent to Turkey after the devastating earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş on February 6 as a reflection of alliance and friendship.

Noting that this primarily reflects the friendly relations between the two countries, Petrovska concluded her words as follows:

“As I just mentioned, yes, also, as members of NATO. Both countries are NATO members, and helping and communicating with each other is a matter of honor, not some kind of duty. The forces we sent in may not have been great compared to the capabilities of other armies and countries, but we really responded within our means.” And what we had.The message we want to send is that we extend our hand when we need it most because in this way we continue to develop very good relations between the two countries.As soon as the two army rescue teams returned, we had the honor of the Turkish Ambassador in North Macedonia to address them and thank them on behalf of the people of the Republic of Turkey on their work.”

Source: AA

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