Erjavec: Slovenia gives support to Macedonia for NATO membership

Slovenia has accepted the Protocol for Macedonia’s accession to NATO, which should be ratified by all NATO member states, before Macedonia officially becomes NATO’s 30th member. NATO Accession Protocol has been accepted by all member states without a problem, and now Greek Parliament is expected to ratify Prespa Agreement, followed by the ratification process of the Protocol in the member states, and Greece is the first country that announced to ratify it.
Slovenian Defence Minister Karl Erjavec, who pays Monday a visit to Macedonia, expressed Slovenia’s unreserved support to Macedonia’s EU and NATO membership.

At the joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Radmila Sekerinska, he underlined his awareness of how much will is necessary to move towards the path to Euro-Atlantic integration.
Highlighting that Slovenia, this year celebrates its 15th anniversary of NATO membership, Erjavec reminded that his country had to make compromises, such as the one with Italy aimed at joining NATO.

I am aware in what kind of position Macedonia is and what it must do to join the EU and NATO. The Republic of Slovenia has already agreed on the pre-accession protocol, Erjavec said, expressing optimism that the Greek side would fulfill its part of the agreement.

“We should respect the procedures in Greece, but also in NATO. It is necessary Prespa Agreement be fully ratified for the member states, including Slovenia, to sign the Accession Protocol, and we expect the Greek Parliament to fulfill its part of its obligations this week. Once the Prespa Agreement is fully ratified by Macedonia and Greece, we expect all 29-member states to sign the NATO Accession Protocol relatively quickly and efficiently, after which Greece will be able to ratify it. Greece cannot ratify the Protocol, if it is not signed or prepared by NATO. It is good that in the procedure for drafting the Protocol, no NATO member state had any open questions, and practically it was approved by silence procedure,” Sekerinska said.

She reminded that the Embassy of Republic of Slovenia in Skopje assumed the role of NATO Contact Point Embassy to the Republic of Macedonia and NATO Liaison Office Skopje Chief is Slovenian officer.

The cooperation between two countries’ armies has been developing for years, joint military exercises were held, and for the first time this year, Army of the Republic of Macedonia – ARM members will have the opportunity to attend the NATO certified course organised by the Slovenian Armed Forces. Memorandum of Understanding on the use of military ranges in both countries was renewed last year.