Skip to main content

Minister Logar on current security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic area and the situation in the Western Balkans

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar attended a meeting of foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Alliance in Riga on 30 November and 1 December 2021.

On the first day, the foreign ministers discussed matters ranging from Russia and arms control, to disarmament and non-proliferation, and held a comprehensive debate on NATO’s next Strategic Concept. On the second day, they addressed the security challenges of the wider region together with the Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Ukraine, continued the debate on the situation in Afghanistan, and exchanged views on developments in the Western Balkans with the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and the Foreign Ministers of Finland and Sweden.

In the introductory debate, the foreign ministers addressed the military build-up in and around Ukraine, which causes additional tensions and risks. They were brought up to date on a report by the NATO Secretary General on the state of play regarding arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, which includes concrete proposals for the next steps. Minister Logar thanked the Secretary General for his report, adding that it provides a good basis for the future engagement of the Alliance in an area subject to rapid technological change.

In the discussion on NATO’s next Strategic Concept, Minister Logar underlined the need to maintain the deterrence and defence posture of the Alliance and called for the strengthening of resilience. The foreign ministers agreed that the next Strategic Concept should take into account the changing security environment, new threats and rapid technological developments. In the discussion on security challenges in the wider region attended by Foreign Minister of Georgia David Zalkaliani and Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba, the foreign ministers stressed that both countries are valued NATO partners and aspirants that will continue to benefit from the Alliance’s support.

The Allies continued the debate on Afghanistan and the lessons learned, stressing that NATO’s primary objective in Afghanistan was to prevent terrorist attacks on the territory of Allies, which they accomplished in the twenty years of operation. Minister Logar called for the international community’s coordinated action, which must prevent a humanitarian and economic crisis, and welcomed the discussion on the lessons learned. He added that the focus will have to be directed at improving crisis management within NATO.

At the end of the meeting, the foreign ministers voiced their concern in connection with the recent tensions in the Western Balkans, particularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as stability in the Western Balkans is crucial for stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. They went on to express support for Bosnia and Herzegovina’s unified state structures and the country’s multi-ethnic armed forces and agreed that NATO should continue to actively promote stability and security in the region. Minister Logar stressed, in this respect, that the sustainability of the reform process can only be maintained through active, coordinated and strategic engagement in the region. He placed particular emphasis on the cooperation between NATO and the European Union, which is crucial for the stability and security of the Western Balkans. 

The meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Riga marked an important milestone between the Brussels Summit last June and the forthcoming Madrid Summit to be held in June 2022 as the foreign ministers adopted a large number of documents, including commitments to step up cooperation between NATO and the EU.