Šekerinska: We are hopeful to join NATO by December 2019

Radmila Šekerinska and Jens Stoltenberg; Photo: Government of North Macedonia

BRUSSELS – North Macedonia is hopeful to join NATO by the December 2019 London Summit, said the Minister of Defence of North Macedonia Radmila Šekerinska at the Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which takes place on 27-29 June in the Belgian capital.

Defence minister of North Macedonia was a speaker on the panel “Defense Disrupted: Innovation and New Approaches to Security”, which took place on the first day of the conference.

Šekerinska reminded that North Macedonia was recently listed among the top 5 countries which made progress in peace and security during the past year.

According to her, North Macedonia was faced with a decade of democratic decline and economic stagnation before the government of Zoran Zaev took office in 2017.

“When we were elected, we wanted to break the status quo, we improved relations with neighbours and improved the state of democracy and freedom of media.”

Šekerinska explained that the new government had to make some tough choices when it comes to breaking the status quo.

“We chose between status quo and doing something great and distrupting. When you distrupt the status quo, the world is watching”, said Šekerinska, reminding that 20 countries already ratified the NATO accession protocol for North Macedonia, which is unprecedented for such a short period.

Speaking about the stability of the Western Balkans, Šekerinska said that stability of one country necessarily affects the others.

“When one Western Balkan country has instability, we all pay”, said the Defence Minister, explaining the importance of the example of North Macedonia for the entire region.

Discussing the threat of fake news and disinformation, Šekerinska explained that fake news are not enough to create instability, but that in combination with real problems that exist in a society, they can be very dangerous.