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Macedonia to increase its defense budget by 15 percent.

| 2017

Macedonian government has decided to increase the defense budget by 15 percent, Macedonian defense minister Radmila Sekerinska told reporters Monday, December 11,2017, while presenting military budget for 2018.

Macedonia to increase its defense budget by 15 percent 925 001
Macedonian soldier during training military exercise EUBG 2014.

The defense budget for 2018 is estimated for a total of 6.4 billion denars (123.3 million U.S. dollars). "By boosting the budget for the military spending, we are yet again affirming our dedication to meeting our strategic goal -- NATO accession," said Sekerinska.

The minister explained that one of the main priorities of the 2018 budget would be focused on raising the salaries of the entire military structure by 9 percent."About 3.7 billion denars (around 71.3 million U.S. dollars) are planned for salaries and compensations, including pay increase in the entire military," Sekerinska told reporters.

The other part of the budget is expected to be used for goods and services, in order to meet some elementary needs of the army, such as uniforms, boots, spare parts to maintain military equipment, the minister explained.

Macedonia is on the process to integrate NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the EU and want to modernize its armed forces. Since 2005 the army is composed entirely of professionals and volunteer soldiers, fully transformed into a professional army according to the NATO standards.

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