11:32 31.10.2019

Ukraine would like to become integral member of NATO group in Black Sea – defense minister

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Ukraine would like to become integral member of NATO group in Black Sea – defense minister

Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zahorodniuk met with a NATO delegation led by the alliance's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Odesa, the Ukrainian government press service said on Wednesday.

"It is important for us to maintain the high level of cooperation and exchange information with NATO for the sake of security both in our country and the region as a whole," the press service quoted Zahorodniuk as saying.

Ukraine would like to be an integral member of NATO's group in the Black Sea, he said.

The Ukrainian minister also briefed the foreign delegation on the situation in the east of Ukraine and measures being taken by the Ukrainian leadership to defend the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"The Black Sea region was once an area of stability," he said.

"However, today we are witnessing serious violations of international maritime law in the Black Sea and its considerable militarization. All this is causing problems to commercial navigation and access to certain zones. We will draw the attention of the international community to such instances," the minister said.

Russia's actions in the Black Sea pose a problem not only to Ukraine and other countries of the Black Sea region, but are an international issue, Zahorodniuk said.

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