Technological advancements and rise of unconventional security challenges call for states to increase investments in the defense and security of its citizens, says Defense Minister Slavjanka Petrovska.

“The commitment of all NATO member-states is that the two percent of the GDP for defense spending, which is the maximum that each country should reach by 2024, will now be the lower limit,” Minister Petrovska told TV24.

Petrovska says the Defense Ministry budget is in continued rise, it reached 1.85 percent of the GDP in 2023 (EUR 274 million), which is sufficient for realization of the initiated and new Army modernization projects.

“We will reach the two-percent target next year but what is important is how we spend these funds. NATO observes the principle of allocating at least 20 percent of the defense budget for modernization and equipment, and Macedonia is doing this. Last year it was 30 percent and this year we are planning 33 percent for this purpose,” says Petrovska.

She adds the country should be proud of having a facility such as the Krivolak army field.

“Krivolak is turning into a serious national capacity but also a NATO capacity. Our allies have increasingly been asking to use Krivolak for drills and it is very often used for multinational exercises as well,” notes Petrovska.