Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba took part in the NATO’s Bucharest Nine (В9) meeting of ministers at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania Bogdan Aurescu.

This was the first time the head of Ukrainian diplomacy participated in the events of this political and security format of cooperation between the Member States of NATO’s Eastern Flank.

Kuleba informed the participants in detail about the build-up of Russian troops near the state border and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

The ministers agreed that the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation threatened the security not only of Ukraine but also of other countries of Central Europe and the Euro-Atlantic area in general.

“The Bucharest Nine countries know all too well what “spheres of influence” are, as they have been under Soviet occupation in the past. Today, it is in our common interest to do our utmost to prevent Russia from regaining its sphere of influence in modern Europe. Our unity and firmness of position can protect security in Europe,” Kuleba emphasised.

The Minister is convinced that it is time for the Euro-Atlantic community to seize the initiative in discussions on European security. It is unacceptable when a country that has carried out armed aggression and occupation of the territories of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova demands “security guarantees” from others. It also carries out cyber attacks, kills political opponents in NATO and the EU, spreads misinformation, and undermines economic and financial stability.

“Instead, the Euro-Atlantic community should ask the Russian Federation such questions. When will Russia explain to all of us how it understands its commitment not to strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others, including Ukraine?” the Minister asked.

In this context, Ukraine and its partners coordinated steps to implement a comprehensive package to deter Russia from a new wave of aggression, which includes political, economic, and security dimensions.

A number of members of the Bucharest Nine said that, at the request of Ukraine, it is preparing solutions that will help strengthen the country’s defence capabilities, cyber defence, and economic stability.

For reference: The Bucharest Nine (В9) is an international initiative of nine NATO Member States located in Central Europe. It consists of the states on the Alliance’s Eastern Flank: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.

Natalia Tolub

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