VIENNA – The European peace project will not be complete without the Western Balkan nations becoming EU member states, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said on Sunday.

Responding to citizens’ questions via a video message, Kurz said there were many countries that were in accession negotiations with the EU.

It is a very long process and only when standards envisioned by the Union have been met, there will be a chance for membership, he explained.

The Western Balkan countries should have a European perspective, he said.

Austria would benefit from a European perspective for Western Balkan countries because we are very close to that region – we also have many companies that are active there, so many jobs depend on this and, at the same time, Austria’s security directly depends on the situation in the Western Balkans, Kurz said.