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Ministerial Meeting of the Central European Initiative on further support to Ukraine

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs

State Secretary Marko Štucin took part in the Ministerial Meeting of the Central European Initiative hosted by the Bulgarian CEI Presidency in Sofia. The meeting focused on Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and the broader consequences of the war, which is having a profound negative impact on all CEI Member States. The ministers and state secretaries expressed their continued support for Ukraine.

State Secretary Marko Štucin at the Ministerial Meeting

State Secretary Marko Štucin at the Ministerial Meeting | Author Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve

State Secretary Štucin emphasised the importance of unity among all CEI members in supporting Ukraine and in aligning themselves with the EU’s policies towards Russia. “Europe has reached a critical point. We need to send clear messages about which side of history we are on.” State Secretary Štucin also welcomed the intensified security dialogue with Ukraine, and stressed the importance of communicating the clear message that the future of the Western Balkan countries, Ukraine and Moldova lies in the European Union. He called, in particular, for candidate status to be granted to Bosnia and Herzegovina and visa liberalisation to Kosovo.

The Meeting adopted a Joint Statement condemning Russia’s aggression against a CEI Member State, Ukraine, which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and is a key threat to overall security. They expressed, inter alia, solidarity with Ukraine and its people, and support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country within its internationally recognised borders. They called for a more robust joint response from CEI Member States to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The Joint Statement also recognised the role of the EU association process in ensuring peace, security and stability in Europe.

The ministers and state secretaries also condemned Belarus' support for the aggression against Ukraine, which led the CEI countries to suspend Belarus' right of representation in the Central European Initiative.