17:12 28.02.2024

Ukraine-South East Europe Summit participants sign declaration calling on intl community to increase support to Ukraine

5 min read
Ukraine-South East Europe Summit participants sign declaration calling on intl community to increase support to Ukraine

Participants of the Ukraine-South East Europe Summit and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy have adopted a declaration to reiterate their support for the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and call on the international community to increase support to Ukraine.

President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani, President of Moldova Maia Sandu, President of Montenegro Jakov Milatović, President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski, President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Chairwoman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Borjana Krišto, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Nikolai Denkov, Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković, Prime Minister of Romania Ion-Marcel Ciolacu signed the document in Tirana on February 28, 2024.

According to the declaration published on the website of the Ukrainian head of state, Russia's unprovoked military aggression against Ukraine remains the greatest threat to the European security and international peace. This act of aggression is unacceptable; it is a flagrant violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and a crime against the Ukrainian people.

The parties also reiterated their unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders as of 1991.

"…and remain committed to providing Ukraine with necessary support to prevail against the Russian war of aggression for as long as it takes in order to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in accordance with the UN Charter and on the basis of the Ukrainian Peace Formula," the document says.

The parties also called on the whole international community to "strongly increase support to Ukraine in its ongoing struggle for freedom, independence and territorial integrity."

In addition, the declaration strongly condemns the intentions of the Russian Federation to hold presidential elections in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, which represents a blatant violation of international law and emphasizes the illegal nature of the upcoming elections in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and in Russia-occupied territories of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine.

"During today's discussions in Tirana, we reaffirmed our solidarity with Ukraine and its people in their heroic defense of their freedom and our shared values and expressed our readiness to participate in the implementation of the Peace Formula of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which is in line with the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter, and to take part in the inaugural Peace Summit, ensuring the widest possible international participation in this process," the document says.

Also, the participants of the summit are convinced that Russia's full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine "has demonstrated the critical need and crucial importance of a united and strong Europe capable of facing global challenges for the peace and prosperity of our peoples." The signatories emphasized that they are united by common European values and a vision of their further development within a united Europe.

The parties reaffirmed our determination to intensify joint efforts to ensure further progress and mutual support towards the membership of the Western Balkan region, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia in the European Union.

"We fully support Ukraine's right to choose its own security arrangements. NATO Allies and aspiring countries commend the steps taken towards its future membership in NATO and support Ukraine to become member of the Alliance as soon as security conditions allow," the document says.

The signatories also underlined their firm commitment to bring to justice those individuals responsible for the crime of aggression, crimes against humanity and other atrocity crimes under international law committed in connection with Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, through appropriate, fair and independent investigations and prosecution at the national or international level, including through the work of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and the International Criminal Court to ensure that allegations of war crimes and other international crimes are fully and fairly investigated by independent, effective and robust legal mechanisms.

The summit participants agreed to cooperate and focus their efforts on the return of unlawfully and illegally deported and forcibly relocated Ukrainian children.

In addition, the parties pledged to enhance their cooperative efforts to fight disinformation, including fake narratives about the war, and to remain committed in combating hybrid warfare and cybersecurity challenges, contributing to the stability and security of the international community.

"Today in Tirana, we reaffirmed our solidarity and support for Ukraine, expressed our commitment to participate in the post-war recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine in order to enable the Ukrainian people to rebuild their country, engaging all relevant partners, including private companies and international financial institutions, with the aim of securing the financial support, investments and knowledge needed to ensure a prosperous future for Ukraine," the document says.

The parties also underline the importance of demining in the broader context of Ukraine's recovery, as the crucial initial step toward the safe return of people and resumption of economic and agricultural activity.