As Macedonia prepares to become the 30th member of Nato, Euronews got a first-hand look at some of the troops who are in line to be joining the alliance.
"We cannot have a stable Europe, without a stable and prosperity-driven stable Balkans. We do believe that our membership in NATO will actually show that the Balkan countries are moving forward, that the region of South-East Europe is becoming peaceful, is becoming more prosperous," North Macedonian minister of defence Radmila Shekerinska told Euronews at the barracks of an infantry battalion in Tetovo.
The Macedonian Army has 6000 members. As part of the program “Partnership for Peace”, which Macedonia signed in 1995, this small army has already been trained to operate within the alliance.
"Macedonia has been a NATO partner for many years. And even without membership in the alliance, we have contributed with more than 4000 personnel in different NATO-led missions, which is basically more than 50 percent of our armed forces in the country," Shekerinska observed.