Events of past year have shown that security in Baltic-Black Sea region is ‘indivisible,’ says Dmytro Kuleba
Ukraine’s foreign minister called Thursday for the integration of his country’s air defense systems with those of its allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in two areas.
“We call for the integration of the anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems of Ukraine and NATO allies in the region of the Black and Baltic Seas. The events of the last year have shown that security in the Baltic-Black Sea region is indivisible. A threat to one is a threat to all,” Dmytro Kuleba said in an opening speech at the Black Sea Security Conference in Bucharest.
Kuleba said that restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the implementation of the 10-step peace formula formulated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during the last G20 summit will bring “real peace” in the interests of not only Kyiv but for Europe and the whole world as well.
Noting that the Black Sea Security Conference is dedicated to achieving this goal, Kuleba said that Ukraine “categorically rejects” any statements that present Crimea as “a special region,” stressing that it cannot remain under Russian control.
“Ukraine calls for the demilitarization of the Black Sea so that all peace-loving countries that respect international law can again use our common sea for trade and travel and live freely without fear of Russian warships. I call on partners to be persistent on the way to this goal,” Kuleba said.
– Joint statement
At the end of the conference, the foreign and defense ministries of Ukraine, Romania and Moldova adopted a joint statement underlining the importance of the trilateral format of talks and reiterated their engagement to continue coordination in this format.
The statement said the three countries share similar security concerns and have the same interest for “a stable and secure wider Black Sea region,” expressing their condemnation for Russia’s war in Ukraine and its impact on the country and the Euro-Atlantic region.
“We express our willingness to cooperate closely on fostering joint capacities for countering Russian propaganda and strengthening our societies’ resilience, including to disinformation,” the statement said.
Underlining their commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Moldova and Ukraine within their internationally recognized borders, the joint statement also said the three countries will further make “every effort with a view to continued strong European and Euro-Atlantic support for the region.”
“In this context, we underline the importance of the historic decision of the European Council of 23 June 2022 to grant the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine EU candidate status and agree to step up efforts to ensure their full membership in the EU.
“We are looking forward for the European Commission’s evaluation of the progress achieved and decision on starting already this year accession negotiations of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova with the EU,” it said.
It also reiterated Romania and Moldova’s support for the peace formula formulated by Zelenskyy and their commitment to work with Ukraine on implementing the 10-step peace plan, which it said will ensure a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace for Ukraine and security for the whole world.”
“We stress that the perpetrators of serious crimes under international law committed on the territory of Ukraine as well as the responsible officials must be held accountable and we express our full support for the efforts of the international community to ensure accountability for these crimes, including through judicial mechanisms,” it added.