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Petrovska: Prespes deal will be respected

Petrovska: Prespes deal will be respected

In the event of political change in North Macedonia, the Prespes agreement with Greece will be respected by a possible new government in Skopje, the country’s Defense Minister Slavjanka Petrovska assured in an interview with Kathimerini during her visit to the Delphi Economic Forum.

“This agreement was marked as one of the most significant achievements in the Balkans in the past decades, and I am convinced that, politics aside, all political parties, when in position to represent the government and the country, will oblige to what has been agreed and signed,” she said, referring to the agreement in 2018 that ended a decades-long name dispute with Greece and paved the way for North Macedonia’s course to NATO. 

Referring to North Macedonia’s accession to NATO, she insisted it would serve as a shield against the diffusion of the Ukraine crisis in the Western Balkans.

“Looking from today’s perspective, NATO membership for the countries in the Balkans is, quite possibly, the best way to guarantee that the instabilities in Eastern Europe will not spill over in our region,” she said, stressing further that North Macedonia’s membership in NATO “is profitable for the Alliance as a whole, for the individual allies, but mostly, for the peace, security and stability of the country and the region.”

Petrovska also noted all NATO allies are in agreement that the Alliance must enhance its presence on its eastern flank.

“It is necessary and called for by the new security situation on the European continent,” she added, noting that the reinvigorated friendship with Greece after the signing of the Prespes agreement has opened limitless possibilities for cooperation, especially in the area of defense.

“We have passed the responsibility for the safety of our skies to an ally, but we have done that in clear conscience, confident in the capacity of the Hellenic Armed Forces and the willingness to protect a neighboring allied country,” she stressed.