European Western Balkans

Šekerinska: Montenegro’s support significant for NATO accession of North Macedonia

Radmila Šekerinska; Photo: Facebook / Radmila Šekerinska

PODGORICA – “Small countries like Montenegro and Macedonia, must act smartly since we don’t have much resources and we must use the best we have. I think that’s the whole logic of the Alliance. We can’t all be specialized in all issues, but we can have advantages in some of them and offer them to our allies”, said the Minister of Defense of North Macedonia, Radmila Šekerinska, during the NATO summit held in Brussels last week.

In the conversation with Montenegrin journalists, Šekerinska said that during the entire negotiation process with NATO, official Skopje had great support of Montenegro.

“When we got the new Government in 2017, several days later Montenegro entered the Alliance and I was invited to deliver a speech at the ceremony in Skopje organized by the Montenegrin Embassy. I said then, and I still think so, that Montenegro serves us as an inspiration and that even in the hardest of circumstances, one should think about the strategic objective. You’ve been through a very difficult political period, and we’ve even been through the violence and very deep political crisis. Despite everything, we managed to unite our state”, said Šekerinska.

Asked if Macedonia is faced with strong Russian pressure, just like Montenegro, she said that there had been several statements made by official Moscow related to Macedonian NATO accession being an act against Russia.

“We want to be on good terms with Russia too, but our strategic objective has been defined since 1993. EU and NATO membership is our goal. We don’t agree with those saying that Macedonian NATO membership means NATO expansion towards the east. We decide about our own future but we want good relations with everyone”, said Šekerinska.

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