President Osmani at the South-eastern European Democracy Summit: We see NATO as a guarantee for lasting security and peace in the region and beyond

The President of the Republic of Kosovo Vjosa Osman, in the framework of the South-eastern European Democracy Summit on the topic of: “War in Europe: Influence in the Balkans” organized by the US International Republican Institute and being held in Montenegro, delivered a speech today which focused on changing of the security architecture in Europe as a result of the war in Ukraine and the implications of these developments in the Western Balkans.

President Osmani stressed that Russia's barbaric and unprovoked war against Ukraine is redefining not only the future of Europe.

“Despite the great progress we have achieved as a state and as a region, all of us today must remember that threats to peace and security are always active,” said President Osmani. According to President Osmani, this is evidenced by Russia's efforts to destabilize Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro through its proxies.

Therefore, according to President Osmani, the EU must be clear, up-to-date and bold.
“Our region and our people need guarantees in terms of integration perspective. We need deeds, not words. We need clarity and a concrete roadmap. “The countries of our region, bar one, have a clear vision for the future: our goal is EU membership because we believe in the values upon which the EU is built,” said President Osmani.

Madam President said that the values of the EU are embodied in the DNA of Kosovar society and that “the path of European integration serves as a guide for our institutional development and daily governance.”
In her speech, President Osmani stressed that the prolongment of the Western Balkans' membership in the EU will create a suitable ground for malignant actors to increase their influence in the region.

“We must not turn a blind eye to what is being seen: this is not just a Russian war against Ukraine, this is a direct threat to the entire security architecture of our continent and a clash between democratic values on the one hand and hegemonic ambitions of the aggressors on the other. It is also a direct attempt to attack and undermine everything that the transatlantic alliance has built throughout history,” said President Osmani.

In this context, President Osmani has raised the need for Kosovo's membership in NATO. “Kosovo's aspirations for NATO membership are not just a political statement. We look at NATO membership, starting with the Partnership for Peace, from a security perspective and we invite you all to do the same. “We see NATO membership as the best guarantee for long-term and lasting peace in the region,” said President Osmani.

According to President Osmani, the war of the first two decades in Kosovo has made Kosovars better understand the war that is taking place today in Ukraine.

“Kosovo immediately and fully imposed sanctions on Russia together with the EU, the US and democratic countries. We have also opened the door to refugees and journalists, just as many of you did to my people in the late 1990s. We are ready to do and give even more if there is a need, “said President Osmani.

“The Republic of Kosovo is ready, as always, to play its role for security, advancement and maintenance of peace and security in the region and beyond,” said at the conclusion of her speech President Osmani.

In addition to President Osmani, Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazoviq, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for European Affairs of Montenegro Jovana Maroviq, the Deputy Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia Bojan Marichikj, the US Envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar, the UK Envoy to the Western Balkans Stuart Peach, the EU Envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue Miroslav Lajçak, as well as other ambassadors, ministers and deputy ministers from the region and representatives of international organizations also spoke at this Summit.

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