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Gërvalla in Brussels calls on NATO and EU to prevent nationalist aggression in Balkans

Brussels, 15 November 2021 - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Mrs. Donika Gërvalla, participated today in the discussion panel on the Future of Europe-Perspective and the contribution of the Western Balkans, in Brussels, organized by Mrs. Federica Mogherini, Rector of the College of Europe.

Part of this discussion were the Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkans, the Vice President of the European Commission Mrs. Dubravka Šuica and Mr. Gašper Dovžan Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, who holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union,

In her speech, Kosovo's chief diplomat stressed that the security problems facing the Western Balkans are similar to those of the EU. Although the Western Balkans are surrounded on all sides by EU territory, she said that the influence of third actors is also strongly present.

"Since the 1990s, the word war has never been so present and widespread in the Balkans with such intensity. Therefore, today we are gathered at a crucial moment. I would especially like to call on our colleagues representing NATO and EU member states to do everything possible, and everything they can, to prevent this dangerous resurgence of nationalist aggression from turning into conflict and war in the whole region ", said Gërvalla.

Minister Gërvalla mentioned the recent developments in Kosovo and the open threats of Serbia a few weeks ago regarding the establishment of reciprocity by Kosovo for vehicle license plates.

" Please, let us not continue to pretend that nothing is happening in the Balkans, with Serbia's aggression against neighboring countries such as Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo. They feel encouraged by these actions, seeing an EU that tolerates even more aggressive behavior and does not have the courage nor takes an initiative to call this behavior by its name: an aggression that is no longer hidden, an open aggression of Serbia, with Russia's aggressive support," Gërvalla said, among other things.

She further stressed that Russia has made large political and military investments in the Balkans.

"The challenge is in front of us: Either we Europeans, who believe in the rule of law and our principles of international order, significantly increase our efforts and prevent war or destruction from happening; or Europe can declare its capitulation as a serious actor of world order for this century", she underlined.

Therefore, Minister Gërvalla stressed that the countries of the Western Balkans can contribute to the future of Europe. She underlined that an EU that is stable and embraces democratic values, promotes stability and seeks enlargement in the Western Balkans is a precondition for a stable and prosperous Europe. "Europe's future must remain open for enlargement," Gërvalla added.

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