NATO Deputy Secretary General: Euro-Atlantic integration is the key to stability in the Balkans

  • 30 May. 2016 -
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  • Last updated: 30 May. 2016 12:47

Addressing the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Tirana, Albania (30 May 2016), NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said that “Euro-Atlantic integration is the key to stability here in the Balkans”. The Deputy Secretary General also congratulated Albania on the 7th anniversary of its membership of NATO and said that “NATO’s door is opening once again with the impending membership of Montenegro”. Earlier this month NATO foreign ministers signed the Accession Protocol for Montenegro. “Once the parliaments of all 28 Allies have ratified the Protocol, Albania will have a fellow NATO member on its northern border. This will enhance Albania’s security while fortifying the stability of the western Balkans and the Adriatic region more broadly”, Ambassador Vershbow said.

In his speech Ambassador Vershbow also discussed key issues on NATO’s agenda for the Warsaw Summit in July. “The summit will take place at a critical time for our alliance - a time when our security and our values are facing significant challenges from the south and the east”, he noted.

The Deputy Secretary General said that NATO leaders will take important decisions at the Warsaw Summit on strengthening Alliance’s defence and deterrence, and projecting stability beyond its borders. “I expect leaders at Warsaw to agree on an enhanced forward presence in the East of the Alliance, including multinational, battalion-sized units provided by European and North American Allies. This will make it clear to anyone who would do us harm, from the east or south, that an attack against any Ally will be swiftly met by forces from across the Alliance”, he said.

With regard to projecting stability beyond NATO’s borders, the Deputy Secretary General said: “At the Warsaw Summit, we will intensify our efforts to project stability by boosting the defence capabilities and increasing the resilience of our partners”.