Minister Pusić attends meeting of NATO foreign ministers

First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs is participating in Brussels in a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. This morning"s meeting began with a meeting with Ukraine"s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin via video link. The ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine and all NATO member states expressed their support for Ukraine. “Croatia, as you know, is helping with treating the wounded and is expected to financially assist the requalification of soldiers in 2015," Pusic said. She added that Croatia had just sent the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement into procedure for ratification. Pusic said that during the discussion she pointed out the problem of refugees which is a "problem under the radar" and which no-one is addressing but is certainly a huge problem for Ukraine. The meeting also discussed the functioning of Ukrainian institutions and all NATO member states voiced their support for the country’s territorial integrity. There was talk about greater NATO presence in some countries on the eastern frontier of the Alliance, primarily in Poland and other Baltic countries. “A greater NATO presence would send a strong message of not entering into conflicts but many of us also noted the need to find a way of communicating with the Russian Federation," she stressed. “No talks mean no solution,” she added. “The meeting also discussed the situation in the south, particularly Iraq and Syria, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia. Macedonia was told that if it met the criteria, it could expect an invitation by end-2015, if not sooner. Given that the election in BiH is over, the time is right to consider intensifying relation with the country and reactivating the Action Plan, which has been frozen temporarily. As for Macedonia, it completed 17 if not more NATO preparation cycles,” Pusic said. The afternoon’s meeting discussed future activities in Afghanistan and the Resolute Support mission to assist Afghan security forces and development projects. "Croatia has been very active here for some time and that will be intensified," the Croatian FM said. “On Wednesday, NATO foreign ministers will conduct a meeting of the coalition in the fight against Islamic State, of which Croatia is a member. The meeting is to be led by the US and will discuss past as well as future activities,” Pusic said.

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