The defense budget will be reshaped for the modernization of the army, cuts will be made on furniture, travel, heating

Military combat vehicles of the ARM / Photo: "Sloboden Pechat" - Dragan Mitreski

A well-equipped army is one of the main guarantors of Macedonia's security in times of global tensions related to civil unrest and terrorism, but also one of the main prerequisites for it to effectively carry out its steps in the NATO alliance. The equipping of the Macedonian army is closely related to the finances available to the state.

Taking into account the fact that the Macedonian Assembly is holding a session on the redistribution of budget items, with which, in addition to salary increases and contributions to the administration, cuts in the finances of some of the ministries, including the one for defense, are foreseen, the dilemma arises as to whether the state tightening the belt around expenditures may reflect the started process of modernization of the army.

Namely, with the redistribution of budget items, it is proposed to cut the about 300.000.000 euros from the capital expenditures in the ministries on several grounds, and a more significant reduction is noted precisely in the field of defense. On these grounds, there is a reduction in expenditures for the Army as well.

A more significant decrease is noted in the item integration in NATO, which refers to the purchase of equipment and machines for even 24.600.000 euros. According to the current planned funds, a reduction of 162.000 euros it is planned to have for communal services which include heating, communication and transport.

Furthermore, a reduction in finances is foreseen for travel and daily expenses where they are foreseen 32.500 euros less, while the amount for contractual services decreases by 308.000 euros.

The Ministry of Defense did not give a precise answer to what exactly will be cut, but they informed that these million cuts and redistributions will not affect the started process for the modernization of the Army and other processes who are they take place in the ministry.

– It is about equipment for the procurement of which the procedure has not yet started and having them consideration legal deadlines ce assumes that contracts that cause financial implications will not ce conclude by the end of this budget year. In case yes ce the need arises, the Ministry of Finance will approve funds for this purpose - they told the Ministry of Defense for "Sloboden Pechat".

From there they inform that the purchase of the most modern combat vehicles "JLTV" and "Striker" ce runs smoothly based on multi-year contracts, as и the rest of the equipment which ce considers it a priority for the modernization of the Army.

As specified by M.O. with the proposal of the decision on the redistribution of funds between the budget users, bi ce made a reduction to only item "480" which ce refers to the purchase of equipment и machines from the Budget of the Ministry of Defense for 2023 year in the amount of 1.517.305.000 denars.

ARM will receive a donation of over 70 vehicles from Norway

More than 70 Norwegian military vehicles as a donation for the Macedonian army, announced yesterday the Norwegian Minister of Defense, Bjorn Arild Gram, at the joint press conference in Skopje with the Minister of Defense, Slavjanka Petrovska. At the press conference, he spoke about the past cooperation in the field of defense between the two countries, but also about what can be done in the future. He pointed out that North Macedonia and Norway are marking the 30th anniversary of what he characterized as strong and positive diplomatic relations, and the ties between the two countries were further strengthened by the admission of North Macedonia to NATO.

- Let me inform my colleague, Minister Petrovska, that Norway is donating more than 70 military vehicles to the armed forces of North Macedonia. Norway also supported several programs in the defense sector in North Macedonia for the promotion of gender issues, for a project to fight corruption, integrity in defense. We expect to continue this cooperation in the cooperation with the engineer battalion, as well as in terms of winter training, mountaineering training. We are also part of the Balkan medical military forces. And we talked about integrating them even more, to strengthen the cooperation between our forces in the region, emphasized the Norwegian minister at the press conference at the Ministry of Defense.

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