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Sunday, January 21, 2018, 

Macedonia's defense budget up by 15% in 2018

Macedonia

Skopje, 11 December 2017 (MIA) - The defense budget of Macedonia in 2018 will increase by 15 percent, thus being estimated at a total of MKD 6.4 billion (EUR 104 million) with one of its main priorities focused on raising the salaries of the entire military structure by 9% as of January 1.

"We're aware the army must secure the place where it belongs to, in compliance with its constitutional function, and also according to our expectations from it every time we are facing a crisis," Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska said Monday presenting a bill of the military budget.

Under a political decision, she said, we will be determining which year, and at which momentum, Macedonia is going to meet the target of 2% of GDP set by NATO members.

Some MKD 3.7 billion are planned for salaries and compensations, including pay increase in the entire military.

The budget for goods and services is also increased. "These funds will meet some elementary needs of the army, such as uniforms, boots, spare parts to maintain military equipment, etc," noted Minister Sekerinska.

Moreover, funds will be singled out in the defense budget to ensure Macedonia resumes its participation in NATO-led and UN-led missions, namely in Afghanistan and Lebanon.

"The 2018 budget heralds a radical change of the approach to defense. It demonstrates the government will keep on investing to raise the standards, conditions, equipment of the army that is committed to meeting the target of 2% of GDP, agreed by all NATO members. By boosting the budget, we are yet again affirming our dedication to meeting our strategic goal, i.e. NATO accession," concluded Minister Sekerinska. ba/17:16

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