Tensions have been rising in Bosnia and Kosovo in the recent period as “foreign actors working to undermine progress”, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said at the closing press conference following the meetings of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga, Latvia, adding that member countries have agreed on the importance of their presence in the Western Balkans. Stoltenberg spoke about the ongoing situation in Ukraine and Russia, Afghanistan, as well as the Western Balkans, notably BiH.
“For our final session, we were joined by our partners Finland, Sweden, and by EU High Representative (Josep) Borrell. We discussed stability and security in the Western Balkans”, he said. “The region has come a long way since the conflicts of the 1990s. But recently we have seen tensions rise. Including in Kosovo, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina. With more aggressive rhetoric. Stalled reforms. And foreign actors working to undermine progress”, Stoltenberg stressed.
He said that NATO will continue to promote stability, security, and cooperation in the region, and those member countries “agreed on the importance” of the alliance’s presence. “Including our KFOR mission in Kosovo. And our offices in Sarajevo and in Belgrade”, he said, adding that NATO cooperation with the European Union remains “essential.”