The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba took part in a meeting of the NATO North Atlantic Council with the participation of Ukraine and Georgia, dedicated to security issues in the Black Sea region.

Kuleba stressed that the NATO South African meeting at the level of foreign ministers, with the participation of Ukraine and Georgia, is a clear signal of the Alliance’s continued support for the reform process and the Euro-Atlantic course of both countries.

“I have informed the Alliance members in detail about the militarisation by Russia as an occupying power in the temporarily occupied Crimea with specific figures, evidence of its negative impact on the Black Sea region security. The Crimea nuclearisation’s traces challenge against the non-proliferation regime.” The Ukrainian Foreign minister announced this after the meeting.

The minister informed the participants of the meeting about Ukraine’s aspirations to become an Alliance member: “We want more cooperation with the Alliance, in particular, more NATO exercises in Ukraine. I stressed that Ukraine continues to move towards membership in the Alliance and looks forward to the Membership Action Plan submission.”

Kuleba noted that some foreign ministers of NATO member states in their speeches mentioned Ukraine’s initiative “Crimean Platform.” The participants also welcomed Ukraine’s status as a Partner with NATO’s enhanced capabilities.

“Several ministers also stated in their speeches that they fundamentally support granting Ukraine membership in NATO,” Kuleba said.

Kuleba invited the Allies to take an active part in the implementation of the Crimean Platform, which aims to unite under its “umbrella” consideration of all aspects of the temporarily occupied Crimea issue, including security in the wider Black Sea region. He also informed about Russia’s ongoing violations of international humanitarian law in Crimea, in particular, the forced conscription of Ukrainian citizens into the Russian armed forces.

“Significant deterioration of the security situation in the Black Sea region threatens not only the Black Sea countries, but also the countries of Southern Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. That is why I welcome NATO’s readiness to become more involved in the security of the Black Sea region and to strengthen cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia,” Kuleba said.

The Minister noted that Ukraine’s ongoing participation in NATO-led international peacekeeping and security operations would help to deepen Ukraine’s cooperation with the Alliance in responding to crises and countering hybrid threats. So would the joint NATO-Ukraine military exercises “Enduring Robustness,” planned in May 2021 in Odesa.

Natalia Tolub

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