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News 19 Apr 12

NATO Pays to Renovate More Macedonian Bridges

An 8.6 million euro donation by NATO will be used to upgrade 13 bridges as part of the Macedonian stretch of the European north-south Corridor 10.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Photo by: build.mk

NATO is donating the money as part of an agreement to repair all the bridges on this stretch that it used during the 1999 Kosovo crisis and afterwards.

A memorandum of understanding for the implementation of the third stage of the bridge upgrade project has been signed by Transport Minister Mile Janakieski and the chief of staff of KFOR [NATO's force in Kosovo], Brigadier General Rex Spitler.

In the past two stages, NATO already financed reconstruction of 51 bridges, costing 22.5 million euro.

Corridor 10, linking the country to Greece and Serbia, is Macedonia's most important transport route, especially because the country has not finished the alternative east-west Corridor 8 that will eventually run from Albania to Bulgaria.

Macedonia has long sought to join NATO, sending its armed forces to Iraq and Afghanistan to serve along Alliance forces there.

But its bid to join remains hampered by a Greek blockade related to the unresolved “name” dispute. Greece objects to its neighbour’s use of the name, "Macedonia", which it claims as part of its own exclusive heritage.

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