Macedonia hosts joint military exercise with US Army

  • Jan Merička
  • 3.8.2017 16:14

On Friday 28 July, a joint fourteen-day military exercise was launched at the Krivolak base in Macedonia, attended by approximately 300 U.S. and 95 Macedonian soldiers. It is aimed at improving the operational readiness of Macedonian army combatants as well as the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear protection units. Another goal of the Dragon Guardian 17 exercise is to enhance interoperability between the two armies and the U.S. Army's presentation.

On Tuesday 1 August a Friendship Agreement between Macedonia and Bulgaria was also signed, which aims to improve relations and end long-standing national disputes. In the document, Bulgaria also commits to supporting the integration of Macedonia into the European Union and NATO. The Macedonian government, led by Zoran Zaeve, therefore continues to intensify efforts to become a member of NATO and the European Union. The strategic importance of Macedonia lies in the planned AMBO pipeline, which is likely to be headed over its territory. The exercise signals that the United States is willing to support Macedonia's entry into NATO, and therefore limit Russian influence in the Balkans. At present, Macedonia is attempting to resolve a long-term dispute with Greece which previously prevented its entry into NATO structures.

 

About author: Jan Merička

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