The Army of the Republic of North Macedonia (ARSM) received a US donation of 1,269 Colt M4 5.56×45 mm carbines during a ceremony at Gjorche Petrov military barracks in Skopje on 1 March, the Ministry of Defence reported on its website later the same day.
The ARSM received a US donation of 1,269 Colt M4 5.56×45 mm carbines on 1 March. (Macedonian MoD)
Defence Minister Radmila Shekerinska said the donation would help the ARSM convert to the NATO-standard 5.56×45 mm calibre and the M4, which is already used by special forces, to arm NATO-declared infantry units. She added that the donation is part of a bigger package scheduled for completion in 2022 that will increase the number of donated M4s to over 2,000 and also includes machine guns and grenade launchers.
US Ambassador to North Macedonia Kate Marie Byrnes said the gifted rifles are worth USD1.2 million.
The M4 donation came two days after Shekerinska and US Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Mara Karlin signed a new memorandum of understanding that replaces the one signed in 1994, enhancing the strategic partnership between the two nations through joint training and exercises, increased co-operation in the fight against terrorism, more intensive military education exchanges, and improved interoperability through modernisation and equipping the ARSM.