“After our entry into NATO, the question of national security and stability of Northern Macedonia will be closed forever. We know that the Balkans are an inexhaustible source of various conspiracy theories and that the opening of the Pandora’s Box was often announced, but for us, after joining NATO, these stories will be over” told Zoran Popov for Blic, the State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Northern Macedonia.
Speaking about the benefits that the country will have with the forthcoming accession to NATO ( in early March), he stressed that this integration will contribute to the stability of Northern Macedonia, the stability of the Western Balkans and, consequently, the stability of Europe. Popov stressed, as particularly important that when Macedonia becomes part of NATO, its voice will be equally valued as the voice of France or the US because in NATO the voice of each member is equally respected and has the same weight in decision making. Popov added that the accession of a country to NATO also has economic benefits. He cited Montenegro as an example, and said that it had led to an increase in foreign direct investment, an increase in living standards, job creation and a decrease in the number of young people planning to leave the country. According to him, foreign direct investments in Montenegro amounted 46 million EUR in the second half of 2017 and rose to as much as 256 million EUR in the first half of 2018. In addition, after Montenegro’s accession to NATO in 2018, the number of tourists increased by 25 percent in 2018.