A Joint Declaration on the integration of the Republic of North Macedonia into NATO structures was signed today at a solemn ceremony in the Cabinet of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, thus completing the process of military integration of our country in the Alliance.
The Joint Declaration was signed by the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurchinovski, and the Commander of the NATO Allied Command Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne.
In his address at the ceremony, President Stevo Pendarovski stressed that the signing of the declaration shows that the country has achieved significant results after only one and a half years of membership and has confirmed its credibility. According to President Pendarovski, the completion of this process is a success for the Alliance as a whole.
“This, however, does not mean the end of the wider reform process. On the contrary, this means that we must continue to promote democracy and the functioning of a multiethnic society, while respecting the bilateral and multilateral agreements reached. We have committed that by 2024 we will reach the threshold of allocating 2% of GDP to defense. Although unpredictable things are happening, such as the pandemic or the energy crisis pushing for a different set-up of budget priorities, defense and security are still the basis for the functioning of all other social sectors”, President Pendarovski said.
The Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Vasko Gjurcinovski, said that today’s event reflects and effectuates the three-decade period of hard and dedicated work in all segments as a state, but also as an Army, in order to become part of the most powerful military-political alliance.
“Here, I would like to stress that the full integration and transformation of our country is a continuous process that in reality never ends but rather is a process of constant adaptation of the Army and its internal processes leading to complete interoperability with the rest NATO members aimed at successful dealing with the modern challenges we are facing”, General Gjurchinovski said.
The Commander of the NATO Allied Command Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne, said that the end of the integration process of North Macedonia in NATO is really a huge success not only for North Macedonia, but also for the Alliance.
“The signing of this Joint Declaration is not only an important milestone for the Armed Forces of North Macedonia, but also confirms the strength of North Macedonia as a credible and important member of the Alliance, a member state that has the will and ability to adjust its structure and forces to NATO needs and demands”, General Lavigne said.
The Minister of Defense, Radmila Sekerinska Jankovska, assessed that today’s act shows that the membership of the Republic of North Macedonia in NATO was deserved as a result of major, serious and very ambitious reform processes.
“Let me congratulate all those who participated in this important process, congratulate them and thank them for the many hours spent with invisible work. Because of those many hours of invisible work, today we can visibly boast of this great historical success. After a year and a half of our membership we can say that we have met all the conditions for full military integration with the most powerful military-political alliance. It has shown that we are allies NATO can rely on, that we stand by our word as the newest member of NATO, that we are able to implement without delay what we have undertaken as a commitment and that we guarantee equal contribution in all missions and all operations led by NATO”, Minister Sekerinska Jankovska said.
Earlier, President Pendarovski received the Commander of the NATO Allied Command Transformation, General Philippe Lavigne.