Diplomacy: Berlin and Paris: better supply of ammunition to Ukraine

Germany and France want to work together for a better supply of ammunition to Ukraine.

Diplomacy: Berlin and Paris: better supply of ammunition to Ukraine

Germany and France want to work together for a better supply of ammunition to Ukraine. At a meeting between Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her French colleague Stéphane Séjourné in Paris, the two discussed possible global procurement of ammunition for the country attacked by Russia. Afterwards, there was talk from delegation circles of good and trusting discussions about how Germany and France could support Ukraine with concrete steps. Ways to counteract attempts to destabilize Moldova were also discussed.

Baerbock wrote about the meeting on X: “United and determined: together we are strong.” Séjourné wrote: "Our two countries are fully committed to Ukraine's side and we are working together to do more and better." Even before the meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that his country supported the Czech initiative to procure around 800,000 artillery shells for Ukraine from countries outside the EU.

Baerbock: Deep friendship between Germany and France

In view of the recent Franco-German tensions, Baerbock had already emphasized the importance of close cooperation between Berlin and Paris before the conversation with her French colleague in the afternoon. "Deep friendship, solidarity is not expressed in the fact that you always agree. If you always agree, then something is wrong," said the Green politician at a meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elmedin Konakovic, in the capital Sarajevo. She added: "Deep friendship is expressed above all in the fact that when you have different opinions, you continue to pull together and nothing can separate you." Baerbock also said: "And that's why it's always important, especially in difficult times, that we talk to each other a lot."

According to Baerbock, the Paris meeting was supposed to focus on the Gaza war in addition to the situation in the Western Balkans and the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine. The recent disagreements between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and French President Emmanuel Macron may also have played a role. Scholz recently defended his line not to send soldiers to Ukraine. He was reacting to an advance by Macron, who made people sit up and take notice when he did not rule out such a deployment of Western ground troops. The wiretapping scandal in the Bundeswehr may also have been discussed in Paris.

“Berlin and Paris are pulling together in the Western Balkans”

Baerbock said in Sarajevo, Germany and France, but also other European countries such as Poland, are working intensively together with a view to the EU accession prospects for the Western Balkans. It is clear to everyone: "Enlargement is a geopolitical necessity" - also because we are convinced "that it will make Europe stronger if we bring the six Western Balkan countries into the European Union in the future."

Baerbock encourages Bosnia-Herzegovina on its way to the EU

Baerbock praised Bosnia-Herzegovina's reform efforts and expressed her hope that the Balkan country can soon begin accession negotiations with the EU. “The country is at a crucial fork in the road,” she said at the meeting with Konakovic. The government in Sarajevo hopes that the EU Commission will recommend the start of accession negotiations in March.

With a view to the division efforts in the predominantly ethnic-Serbian part of the country, Republika Srpska (RS), Baerbock emphasized: "We want Bosnia and Herzegovina to join the European Union as a whole country." RS is led by Serbian nationalist Milorad Dodik as president, who also openly maintains good relations with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin. “We will clearly identify any fantasies of division that put obstacles in the way of the people here in Bosnia and Herzegovina on their way to European integration,” emphasized the minister.

Konakovic: We want to continue the European path faster than ever

Konakovic admitted that corruption was “the biggest problem” in the country. They are in the process of implementing another important EU demand by creating a law to deal with conflicts of interest. In February, Bosnia-Herzegovina also fulfilled another condition set by Brussels with a new law to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. This "shows our willingness and commitment to continue the European path faster than ever before," Konakovic said.

Bosnia-Herzegovina has been an official candidate for EU membership since December 15, 2022. The next step would be to start accession negotiations. The European Council must decide on this unanimously if the EU Commission recommends it. The Commission has announced that it will present a report on the reform steps by March.

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