Strengthening of NATO presence in Black Sea region could help to deter Russia's aggression – Deputy PM
Ukraine has no ground to count on the stop of aggression by Russia in the near future, and the decision of NATO presence in the Black Sea region could curb Moscow, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze has said.
"The U.S. leadership in strengthening NATO navy's presence in the Black Sea region is extremely important. This is the only way that can help deter Russia from aggressive actions," the deputy prime minister said at a meeting with Fiona Hill Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs on his National Security Council staff Fiona Hill in Washington (the United States).
According to the press service of the Ukrainian government, Klympush-Tsintsadze said that Ukraine is counting on further close attention from the United States to the situation in the Azov and Black Seas and condemning the Russian armed attack on the Ukrainian Navy near the Kerch Strait. "The aggressive actions of the Russian Federation undermine regional and international security. The Kremlin neglects international law and bilateral agreements. Such behavior requires increased pressure on Russia," the deputy prime minister said.
She thanked for the continued and decisive support of Ukraine by the United States and noted the importance of strengthening economic sanctions against the Russian Federation.
The government's representative said that Kyiv is continuing reforms, which are a key tool for preparing Ukraine for NATO membership.
"The implementation of the law on national security is our priority task for this year. In January, a bill on parliamentary control over the activities of special services and law enforcement agencies was registered in Verkhovna Rada. I hope it will be passed by people's deputies," Klympush-Tsintsadze said.
She also noted the need to urgently restore the format of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers, which is now being blocked by Hungary: "Ukraine pays considerable attention to protecting the rights of national minorities and seeks to resolve this issue in a bilateral dialogue with Hungary."