ZAGREB, April 28, 2018 – NATO member states have a uniform position on the relations with Russia and intend to continue with the two-track approach, showing strength on one hand and leaving room for dialogue on the other, Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić said on Friday.
She and other NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss the relations with Russia, the situation in Afghanistan and the south Mediterranean, and NATO enlargement. “Concerning Russia, the discussion showed the unity of the alliance. There is a previously defined approach, NATO’s two-track functioning about Russia which on one hand means showing strength and, on the other, leaving room for dialogue, which remains on the agenda and I believe this will be confirmed at the NATO summit in July,” said Pejčinović Burić.
As for the open door policy, it is very important to Croatia that NATO is aware of the security and stability situation in Southeast Europe.
“It’s important that NATO is aware of that, that very quickly, when the conditions are met, Bosnia and Herzegovina should be offered a Membership Action Plan, and that Macedonia be invited to join when it resolves the issue with Greece. These are all issues of great interest to us given that this is about our neighbourhood, where stability and security is of the utmost importance to us,” the minister said.
Russia has openly threatened that it will cause problems if Macedonia is invited to join NATO. “We talked about the resilience of states interested in joining the EU and it’s inappropriate of Russia to act that way. We have agreed to step up strategic communication and publicly raise awareness of the role Russia plays there. I think it’s inappropriate of Russia to take such an approach to sovereign states which have the right to choose where to belong,” said Pejčinović Burić.
She also spoke briefly with new US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.