Europe

European values ​​should be preserved in Balkans: German defense minister

Cooperation between Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina to continue, especially in terms of training soldiers, says Christine Lambrecht

Mustafa Talha Öztürk   | 05.05.2022
European values ​​should be preserved in Balkans: German defense minister German Defense Minister visits Sarajevo

BELGRADE, Serbia

European values ​​should be preserved everywhere, including in the Western Balkans, Germany’s defense minister said Wednesday.

Christine Lambrecht's remarks came at a joint press conference with Bosnia and Herzegovina Defense Minister Sifet Podzic.

Podzic welcomed Lambrecht and her accompanying delegation with an official ceremony in the country's capital, Sarajevo.

''We want to see the Western Balkans move towards the European Union and NATO. It is a path we support…partner with and want to tackle together if danger or risk arises,'' said Lambrecht.

She added that they also talked about the good relations between the two countries.

''Our cooperation will continue in the future. We want successful collaborations, especially in terms of training soldiers,'' said Lambrecht.

Podzic said Lambrecht's visit is a sign that Bosnia and Herzegovina is backed by the European Union and NATO.

"The arrival of Minister Lambrecht is a message that we are not alone and that we will cooperate with EU and NATO member states,'' he said.

He added that they also talked about Russia's aggression against Ukraine.

“We agreed that we must condemn such barbarism and the inhumane treatment of Ukrainian citizens, whatever the economic consequences that European citizens may feel. Southeast European countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, are well aware of where democracy and human rights stand. We Europeans are aware of the dangers emanating from Russia. That's why we need to build European security. Our soldiers have already served in the field of peacekeeping. We hope that we will not need to cooperate on the defense of Europe,'' said Podzic.

At least 3,238 civilians have been killed and 3,397 others injured in Ukraine since the war with Russia began on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.

More than 5.6 million people have fled to other countries, with over 7.7 million people internally displaced, data from the UN refugee agency shows.

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