Slovenian President Borut Pahor said at a meeting of heads of state of the Arraiolos Group in Malta on Thursday that NATO should leave the door open for Ukraine, after Kyiv recently applied for membership.
Speaking on the margins of the meeting in Valletta, the Slovenian president said it was necessary to preserve NATO’s unity. With regard to Ukraine’s application for full membership of NATO, he said that Ukraine had every right to choose its own foreign and security policy and that the alliance should leave the door open for that country. He added that all 30 NATO members should decide on that.
Pahor went on to say that in dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine and in relation to the Russian Federation, it was important for the EU to maintain and strengthen its unity and that Europe must not repeat the mistake from 2014, when it did not respond decisively enough to the Russian occupation of Crimea.
He also urged the leaders to show flexibility on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans.
Pahor was attending a meeting of the heads of state of the Arraiolos Group, which in addition to Malta, also includes Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The central part of this year’s meeting features a discussion and exchange of views on the impact of the war in Ukraine on security and stability in Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
Heads of state of European Union member states have met in this format once a year since 2003.
Croatian President Zoran Milanovic is not attending the Arraiolos Group meeting due to health problems, his office said on Wednesday.
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