Macedonian citizens cannot fight for a foreign army, because it is a crime

This announcement shared on Facebook misinforms the public that Macedonians will also be able to fight in Russia. It is a crime in our country, just like fighting for any foreign army, and is punishable by imprisonment. Participation in a foreign legion for Macedonian citizens is contrary to Article 322-a of the Criminal Code, which prohibits the participation of citizens of N. Macedonia in any military or other foreign military or police formation


We are reviewing a post published on the social network Facebook, in which a text from a portal is shared, with the title:

Macedonians will be able to fight for Russia? Open entry points for foreigners in the Russian military: Here’s what they can expect if they sign a service contract

The text says that applications are being received for foreign nationals who want to enlist in the armed forces of the Russian Federation and that answers can be given to questions related to the admission of foreign nationals to military service under contract. Then it is said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs (of Russia) has indicated that foreigners who have signed a contract for service in the armed forces of Russia have the right to a simplified acquisition of Russian citizenship, as well as members of their families, that is, parents, spouses and children.

However, what is written in the title of the text is legally not possible. Citizens of N. Macedonia must not fight for a foreign army, because it is a crime, regardless of which army it is.

On March 9 of this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement reminding Macedonian citizens that participation in any foreign army is a crime. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated at the time that as a friendly country of Ukraine, there is an understanding of the complex situation in which Ukraine finds itself.

In addition, we want to remind that the Republic of North Macedonia fully condemns Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, and the country demonstrates this accordingly in the UN, NATO, OSCE and in all other bilateral and multilateral forums, the Ministry stated.

The Embassy of Ukraine in Skopje told Portalb at the time that all Ukrainian embassies in the world were informed about this initiative of Zelensky for voluntary participation in the ranks of the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine. They add that they have no intention of recruiting and will always abide by Macedonian laws. already wrote that participation in a foreign legion is contrary to Article 322-a of the Criminal Code, which prohibits the participation of citizens of N. Macedonia in any army or other foreign military or police formation.

In the period from 2014 to 2021, 11 crimes under the title “participation in foreign military, police, paramilitary or parapolice formations” were registered, for which 56 perpetrators were criminally reported.

The Government previously referred to the Criminal Code, which clearly defines that participation in a foreign army or training by a foreign army, police, paramilitary or parapolice formations, or organized groups, outside the territory of North Macedonia is punishable by imprisonment of at least four years.

In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, said in a statement to “Click Plus” that the law prohibits participation in the war in Ukraine and anyone who goes will be sanctioned.

The law does not discriminate whether you fight in Ukraine or the Middle East. The law says that illegal participation in wars abroad is punishable by prison and the same will apply to everyone, including those who go to Ukraine, Osmani said.

The National Coordinator of the National Committee for the Prevention of Violent Extremism and the Fight against Terrorism, Zlatko Apostolovski told SDK that if Macedonian citizens go to fight as volunteers on the Russian or Ukrainian side in the current war with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they will be held criminally responsible for the same an act like those who were on the battlefields in Iraq, Syria or joined ISIS.

Due to all the above facts, we assess that the statement in the title of the text we are reviewing is not true. Fighting in any foreign army is a crime in our country and is punishable by imprisonment.





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