NATO demands new security permits for intelligence

NATO demands new security permits for intelligence
Brussels - NATO urges the government to reconsider and issue all security permits in the country after Macedonia's accession to membership, sometime in 2020, to ensure that internal information from member states and the Alliance will not leak, or be abused. The reform of the intelligence and security services is one of the three key requirements of the Alliance in the negotiations with Macedonia, following the implementation of the Prespa Agreement and the defence reforms.

Finding out that the Security and Intelligence Directorate was involved in the organization of April 27, ie the coup attempt and that a representative of the president's office with a security clearance took part, made these requirements even more important for NATO.

"We must make sure that everyone involved in any way in the information sharing system with NATO has the appropriate security clearance. That was not the case in the past. This applies to persons from the Ministries of Interior and Defence, the relevant committees in parliament, but mostly to the UBK and other intelligence services. We see the readiness of the Government to do so," said NATO official for Nezavisen Vesnik/Independent newspaper, adding that it was a process that would take place gradually and could go on after Macedonia's accession to the Alliance.

According to him, negotiations with Macedonia are still ongoing and they are largely synchronized with the European Union. Unlike the dilemmas in Macedonia, the Alliance is satisfied with the rule of law in the country, despite the escape of the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

"We see progress. We in NATO have a high degree of confidence in the trials that are fair and accountable. People get fair and righteous trials," said the Alliance's representative, adding that he still cannot comment on the ex-PM’s escape and how he managed to go through three NATO member states so easily, because there are ongoing investigations.

In the context of the negotiations on reconciliation, he assessed that such a process is a major challenge for every society, as shown in South Africa, Northern Ireland and other countries. The remark that it is more about amnesty than reconciliation, he said that NATO has no way of implementing the division of justice in our country, but there are principles that need to be implemented in such situations.

"This process should be done in an open and transparent manner with respect for the rule of law. The Macedonian side should be the one who will decide how to deal with various types of crimes," said the NATO senior official. He added that it is not healthy for democracy if the main political parties do not take part in this process, referring to the opposition because it is elected by the citizens to influence the decisions, and not exclude them from the processes important for the country. In general, he assessed that the Prespa Agreement caused obvious divisions, but NATO is glad that some of the opposition MPs voted for it because they thought it was in the interest of the country's future. That this is not just a phrase, yet a real interest in the alliance, has shown the meeting of the NATO Secretary General with the Greek alternative minister, which, as they said, was completely dedicated to resolving the dispute with Macedonia, because NATO wants to keep up with the course of the implementation of the agreement in both countries.

A diplomat in NATO, who has previously served in Macedonia, and is now in the Alliance, confirmed that in Brussels, Gruevski's escape is not a topic as expected in our country. He called the events he sees now in our country "science fiction", starting from the verdict for Nikola Gruevski to the detention of Saso Mijalkov and Orce Kamcev, practically seeing a major change in the country. According to him, no one is considering possible obstruction from Hungary when ratifying the membership of our country. Unofficially, NATO representatives contacted the government in Budapest and its representatives in Brussels, and their assessment was that there were no clues so far that Viktor Orban’s government could be challenging the membership of Macedonia. According to the assessments in Brussels, Hungary remains a strong supporter of Macedonia's accession, just as it was before.

Slobodanka Jovanovska

Special rapporteur from Brussels for Nezavisen Vesnik

Share with your friends: