North Macedonia donates tanks to Ukraine as it modernises own military

BELGRADE, July 29 (Reuters) - North Macedonia plans to donate an unspecified number of Soviet-era tanks to Ukraine as it seeks to modernise its own military to meet NATO standards, its defence ministry said on Friday.

In a statement, the ministry said Ukraine will receive tanks belonging to the western Balkan country's tank battalion which is in the process of being upgraded.

"Taking into account this situation and the requirements of the Ukrainian defence ministry, the government has decided that a certain quantity of these (tank) capacities will be donated to Ukraine, in line with its needs," the statement said.

The ministry did not specify the number of tanks, but it said they belonged to the so called third generation of main battle tanks from the 1970s and 1980s that have composite armour and computer-stabilised firing control systems.

North Macedonia, an ex-Yugoslav republic, is a NATO member and candidate to join the European Union. It has, like other Western countries, already donated military equipment to Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci and Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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