European Commission Vice-President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell stated that the OSCE Ministerial Council in Skopje presents a crucial opportunity for Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to directly hear why Russia faces condemnation and isolation. Borrell emphasized the importance of maintaining multilateralism and the unity of the EU and OSCE in deploring Russia’s aggressive actions. Despite acknowledging concerns about Lavrov’s participation due to Russia’s violations of international law, Borrell highlighted the necessity of engaging in dialogue to convey the reasons behind the global stance against Russia.

Borrell praised the OSCE as a vital partner in discussing European security matters and criticized Russia’s attempts to undermine the organization’s fundamental principles. He stressed the importance of providing the OSCE with necessary resources to function effectively and commended Macedonia’s efforts in this regard.

Moreover, Borrell expressed support for Malta’s Chairmanship-in-Office for 2024, pending adoption at the Skopje Ministerial Council. He reiterated the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and peace in Europe, including the Western Balkans. Borrell praised North Macedonia’s alignment with the EU’s foreign policy.

Before the OSCE Ministerial Council, Borrell met with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski, discussing European affairs alongside Deputy PM Bojan Marichikj and EU Ambassador David Geer.