North Macedonia to Upgrade Army Despite Economic Concerns

Authorities look determined to equip the Balkan country’s outdated military with modern weapon systems – even if some query the cost in a time of economic difficulty.

NATO’s newest member state, North Macedonia, which joined the alliance last year, is on the way to modernising its military, though doing so in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis has sparked criticism.

The aim is to procure new armoured personnel carriers, APCs, and light tactical vehicles to replace an arsenal of outdated, mainly Soviet-era vehicles that are not fit for purpose on modern battlefields.

After several failed initiatives, this time the country has decided to make a deal directly with the US government as its main strategic partner.

While soldiers and military experts say the cost of the procurements, set at over 200 million US dollars, is within reason, some financial experts warn that spending this money at a time of economic downturn caused by the pandemic might not be wise.

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