Pahor talks Ukraine war, W Balkans situation with Steinmeier

Berlin – President Borut Pahor held working talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on Thursday to discuss the Russian aggression against Ukraine and exchange views on the situation in the Western Balkans. Pahor also informed Steinmeier about plans for the next Brdo-Brijuni Process meeting.

The pair took the opportunity to discuss in depth current issues in European and world politics. They spoke about Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and expressed their deep concern about this flagrant violation of the international order.

They agreed on the urgency of Russian attacks ending as soon as possible and the need for diplomacy to regain its role to reach a peaceful solution, Pahor’s office said.

The presidents talked about ways to help Ukraine defend itself and end this aggression, Pahor told TV Slovenija on the sidelines of the visit.

“We realised that in this situation, as far as we know it, there is nothing to be said except that we will do everything to help Ukraine politically, militarily and morally defend itself against this aggression,” Pahor added.

Exchanging views on the consequences of the war for Europe, they agreed that the situation should provide an additional inspiration for Europe to take a step forward in its deepening cooperation, to be more secure, peaceful and prosperous – economically, socially and also in defence, Pahor noted.

Discussing the EU’s enlargement, a topic whose geopolitical importance has become even more pronounced due to the war in Ukraine, they focussed on the enlargement to the Western Balkans.

“The position that this is a geopolitical issue, a stance long-championed by Slovenia, has now become an integral part of the considerations,” Pahor said, adding that he had given some suggestions and views on the matter to promote the enlargement process in the region.

He also informed Steinmeier about plans for the next Brdo-Brijuni Process meeting that will be hosted in Slovenia by co-chairs of the initiative, Pahor and Croatian President Zoran Milanović. Steinmeier participated in one of the initiative’s meetings in 2017.

The German president said that he and Pahor had not only met regularly but also exchanged views at a time of great concern for both of them. He highlighted the “brutal” Russian aggression against Ukraine, evoking the images of the killed and wounded, the destruction and suffering and the wave of refugees.

In a video statement posted on his Twitter, Steinmeier said that the EU and NATO maintained unity in the face of this, showed solidarity with Ukraine and supported it financially as well as militarily.

Pahor’s working visit is a continuation of the regular dialogue between Slovenia and Germany at the level of the presidents of the two countries, which strengthens the mutually supportive relationship between Slovenia and Germany, a press release by Pahor’s office reads.