Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska briefed NATO member countries ambassadors on the progress in drafting the Strategic Defence Review

Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska introduced the ambassadors of the NATO member countries in Macedonia with the progress in drafting the key strategic document in the defence, namely, the Strategic Defence Review.

The last Strategic Defence Review was adopted 14 years ago. The Ministry of Defence has committed to ensuring the adoption of the new document by the end of June. The work regarding the Strategic Defence Review has entered the final stage.

“Our goal is to have a small, modern and flexible Army that will have its place in NATO. We assessed the new security risks and proposed reforms in the Army and the ministry. With the increase of the defence budget, we opened the possibility for starting the reforms. The process of developing the Strategic Defence Review for which we had a short time, has been successful due to the highly qualified and professional team that worked on the document, the support of NATO and the Allies and the inclusiveness of the process itself. We are grateful for the support of the US and UK governments that sent advisors who helped in the preparation of the Strategic Defence Review, as well as to the NATO Liaison Office in Skopje and other member countries that have contributed as well. The inclusive process in the development of SDR is of great importance for the efficient implementation of the reforms”, said the Minister.

Minister Shekerinska said that the Government is expected to adopt the Strategic Defence Review before the NATO Summit, and urged the ambassadors of the NATO member countries to contribute with their advice on the implementation of the SDR, which will set the basis for the long-term plan for the development and modernization of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.

The Minister expressed the Government’s expectations regarding the support for Macedonia at the upcoming NATO Summit.

US Ambassador Jess Baily said that he could testify about the hard work of competent officials from the Ministry and the Army, in collaboration with US and British experts. British Ambassador Charles Garrett addressed his colleagues, urging them that this is the perfect time to engage if they would want to have constructive cooperation with Macedonia that will yield results. He said that the defence reforms are important not only for Macedonia and the region, but also for the collective security.