Ukraine needs stability before joining NATO, says Belgian PM
The war in Ukraine must stop before the country can join the NATO military alliance, said Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo at the Second European Political Community summit in Moldova on Thursday.
The European Political Community (EPC) is a new informal forum which was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron after the outbreak of the Russian war in Ukraine to promote stability and peace on the continent. Leaders of the 47 participating countries first met in Prague last October.
“No one would have believed, even a year ago, that almost 50 countries would be meeting here in Moldova,” said De Croo, adding that the meeting sent a strong signal of European unity and security and is an important message for both Ukraine and Moldova.
“This is an opportunity to show what it means to be united in Europe and to be united around an important objective: the stability, prosperity and peace of the continent – an important message for countries which are under pressure”, he said, Belgian press agency Belga reported.
Regarding Ukraine’s NATO accession bid, De Croo said the war-torn country first needed to regain stability by prioritising military support for the defence of Ukrainian territory, the agency reports.
“Some form of alliance or being part of an alliance will be an important topic of discussion, but the short term is much more important than this discussion we will have afterwards,” he explained.
Ahead of the meeting, De Croo told L’Echo that the European Political Summit-type format is good for holding discussions with other leaders given the very flexible agenda.
De Croo said on Twitter that he would discuss Belgium’s EU presidency stint for the first half of next year, energy matters and North Sea cooperation during the summit.
(Anne-Sophie Gayet | EURACTIV.com)