North Macedonia Signs 5G Cooperation Pact with the US
The 5G deal aims to bring “highest standards of security against untrusted, high-risk 5G vendors”
North Macedonia became the eleventh country to sign a deal with the United States that strengthens cooperation on 5G technology, placing itself on a list of countries that are connected to a “clean network” that will address 5G-related issues connected to privacy, security and human rights.
The deal was signed by North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and US Under Secretary of State for economic growth, energy, and environment, Keith Krach.
“This memorandum of cooperation is vital for the future prosperity of our country from an economic point of view, as well as for national security. 5G will enable a huge range of new applications, including the provision of key public services that will benefit our citizens and our economy.” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said at the signing ceremony.
“Increased amounts of data will further connect the world’s economies, including North Macedonia and the United States, and facilitate cross-border services and trade.”
The world is becoming aware of the dangers and risky sellers, US diplomat Krach pointed out.
“The 5G Declaration confirms this and secure clean networks will be vital to the economic stability in the region. We support the accession of North Macedonia into the EU. Of the 27 EU member states, 25 are connected to this clean network — which is a comprehensive approach to addressing long-term threats to privacy, security, co-operation and human rights — and is rooted in international standards and the long-term implementation of this strategy.” Krach said.
“Proud that North Macedonia is becoming the eleventh country that signed the MoU with the U.S. on 5G security, reflecting our common dedication to protecting privacy and individual liberties of citizens.” US Ambassador to North Macedonia, Kate Byrnes also wrote in a tweet.
Although during the signing of the deal there was no mention of China and its tech giant Huawei, currently engaged in a dispute with the US over 5G infrastructure, the statement can be seen a precautionary message for the region as the US-China rivalry intensifies, regional experts argue.
“No specific mentions of Huawei or China, but everybody knows that this is the fish that the US wants to fry.” Vuk Vuksanovic, researcher in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science explained.
“The nations in the region will find it increasingly difficult to find a balance between China and the US.”
According to the State Department, the “5G Clean Path” embodies the highest standards of security against “untrusted, high-risk vendors’ ability to disrupt, manipulate or deny services to private citizens, financial institutions, or critical infrastructure.”
Last month, US diplomat Philip Reeker said that similar 5G MoU’s are also planned with countries such as Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia, in order to “gain commitment from these partner countries to avoid using prohibited technologies.”