President Stevo Pendarovski, within his participation in the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, addressed today the panel session “Maintaining Security in Europe”.
Participants in the debate were NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, Dutch Defence Minister, Kjisa Ollongren, and Ukraine’s Presidential Administration Director, Andriy Yermak, moderated by Francine Lacqua, a journalist and editor at Bloomberg.
The focus of the discussion was the war in Ukraine as a common threat that toppled the security order that has helped Europe move forward peacefully for decades, but also the steps that the European Union needs to take in a radically changed context.
Panelists condemned the Russian aggression and expressed support for the Ukrainian people. They stressed the importance of preventing the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and the need to ensure protection of NATO allies.
President Pendarovski stressed that the Russian invasion against Ukraine as never before imposed the need for the European Union to focus on integration of the Western Balkans, a process that will further strengthen the stability, security, democratization of our region, and thus contribute to the overall security of the continent.
He stressed that NATO, but also the European Union, are the two corridors for a better, safer and more prosperous future.
“We need to help Ukraine, to convince other allies who may have a certain amount of skepticism. The “open door” policy should not apply only to NATO, but should also apply to the European Union; the doors of both organizations need to remain open to the Ukrainian people. Ukrainians are fighting for their own freedom, but this fight is also for the defense of democratic values. This is a war of an autocracy against democracy. If Putin somehow manages to win this war, then he will not just conquer Ukraine”, adding that North Macedonia, within its capabilities, supports Ukraine, from military to diplomatic assistance, and that the open door policy must continue, not only in relation to NATO, but also in relation to the European Union.
“The open door policy should not only apply to the NATO Alliance, but also to the European Union. Otherwise, the concept of a united Europe, at peace with itself and with the world from the Atlantic to the Urals, will be just a dream”, President Pendarovski said.