VIDEO INTERVIEW | Metodi Hadji Janev: Three years after NATO membership, we now realize the correctness of that decision
The road to membership was long and difficult, but we did not give up in achieving the key strategic goal. Although the Macedonian army was ready to enter the Alliance as early as 2009, but due to the blockade by Greece, we were prevented, a few years later with difficult concessions and diplomatic efforts of politicians, which history will show whether they were right or not, we managed to become a full-fledged member state. Three years after our membership and fulfillment of the absurd requirements, today we still understand the importance of NATO membership. This, among other things, was stated by the university professor Methods Hadzi Janev while appearing in the show "Morning Press".
- I am not saying that the politicians had an easy job. Neither for those in the past nor for the present ones, we can ascertain whether the decision-making was courageous and visionary when it comes to changing the constitutional name. What was asked of us then was an absurdity for which we had no guarantees, similar to what we see today through Bulgaria's demands for our entry into the EU. I repeat, history will tell if the decision to change the name was justified on the one hand, but also if, on the other hand, the Western leadership at the time, through policies of the latent separation of Macedonia from the Euro-Atlantic paths, contributed to our not entering into an international military alliance. I repeat, in 2009, the country joined NATO, and a few years later, on March 27, 2020, our policy also joined the military alliance - pointed out Hadji Janev.
The professor of international law at the Military Academy, Metodi Hadji-Janev pointed out that there are still weaknesses due to which the country fails to fully utilize the benefits of our membership.
- Membership in NATO does not mean only the security of a country, but it represents an integrated system or framework for the development of the whole society. The fact that we, as a country, fail to operationalize the dedicated industry, that is, we do not have ideas and policies on how to help the private sector to use the NATO systems, that is our problem. Another, additional problem is the fact that the civil society sector fails to use the values of the Euro-Atlantic community, for which a lot of money is pouring into the country - said Hadji Janev.
Asked what it will mean to achieve the set goal in the coming year, which is an increase in the defense budget to two percent of GDP, Hadjija Janev emphasized that the security and peace of a country is an expensive thing that should not be saved.
- Additional forums and workshops are needed in which as a country, citizens will be explained where and how this money from the budget goes when it comes to the financing of the army and our membership in NATO. Although the Ministry of Defense in the latest transparency reports is the most transparent institution in terms of expenditures and the work of the institution, it is still necessary to further inform the population that the previous defense budgets globally were allocated around 90 percent solely to cover the salaries of employees. Now, regarding our membership in NATO, this is not the case. We have to invest in staff, technique and new equipment. In fact, all of that is covered by that 2 percent of the budget money, about which the citizens seem not to be sufficiently informed about where their money ends up - explained Hadji Janev.
During the visit, the professor of international law also talked about the latest developments on the battlefields in Ukraine, the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Moscow, but also what will be the next moves of the Russians on the front.
For more from the conversation with Hadji Janev, see the video below.