Defence Minister Convinced Procurement of Helicopters is Right Decision

On Saturday, Defence Minister Slavjanka Petrovska said she was convinced the team of professionals behind the decision to procure the eight helicopters from Italy-based Leonardo had made the right decision.

“I absolutely have no dilemmas about this. I know some structures in the Republic of North Macedonia see this process of modernisation as a threat towards themselves, not towards the state,” she stated, adding that she disagreed with those describing the procurement as a waste of money.

In Petrovska’s view, it’s very easy to make accusations or present conspiracy theories. Several companies submitted bids, the Minister stressed, while it is unprofessional to accuse Army professionals of being involved in any corruption scandal.

“As far as specifically the company is concerned, bear in mind that we’ve also signed a Government-to-Government agreement. Accusing any company means also accusing the Republic of Italy’s Government of being part of a corruption scandal. I think that’s inadmissible from a diplomacy standpoint,” the Minister pointed out.

VMRO-DPMNE, however, believes that the Government should stop the procurement The party’s stand is that that shouldn’t be done in a pre-election period and that the future, political government should make a decision.

VMRO-DPMNE considers the procurement to be also an unjustified step since transport, not fighter, helicopters will be procured.