Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikola Dimitrov said in an interview for Alsat TV that citizens are already seeing the benefits from Macedonia’s accession in NATO and the decision for start of membership negotiations with the EU in the handling of the situation with the coronavirus. “EU has earmarked a fund of around 410 million euros for assistance to the Balkan countries in their combat with COVID-19, and of these around 70 million are provided for our country. Once we start the membership talks with EU, we will have access to their solidarity fund, the support from the IPA Programme will increase, and the implementation of rule of law will be under constant supervision by EU experts. A great deal for us is the fact that in times when the world faces a global crisis caused by the coronavirus, NATO and EU found time and space to reach important decisions, allowing us to progress on our way towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Within two days only, we were approved start of membership talks with the EU, and we become the 30th member-state of NATO, and I believe that once we overcome the COVID-19 crisis, we will begin to experience the benefits of becoming part of and cooperating with these two great alliances,” Dimitrov said.