RIGA - The European Union (EU) will stand by Ukraine in opposition to any attempt to undermine its territorial integrity and sovereignty, said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, ahead of today's meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Riga.
Borrell stressed that what was happening near Ukraine was an important problem. Borrell said that he met with the Prime Minister of Ukraine in Brussels on Wednesday, but will also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine at the meeting of NATO foreign ministers today.
"I want to emphasize that Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty are paramount," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said.
Asked what the EU's response might be to Russia's actions, Borrell noted that the EU tries to prevent crises because they could be increasingly difficult to deal with when they start. He emphasized the need to send a clear message that the EU would respond strongly to any aggression against Ukraine.
Today, NATO foreign ministers will discuss issues related to the Western Balkans. Borrell emphasized that the Western Balkans are a strategic region for the EU. The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy noted that the bloc has close ties with the countries of the Western Balkans, both for EU enlargement and for security reasons, so stability in the region is of paramount importance.
Borrell expressed concern to journalists about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Over the past few days, there has been an increase in tensions after 26 years of peace and stability. He noted that Bosnia and Herzegovina must be one and the same country.
"We are calling for the necessary reforms to maintain unity. On the other hand, there have been tensions between Kosovo and Serbia over the summer, but the situation is a little calmer now. But we need to get back to a stabilizing of the situation," Borrell said.