We at the Executive Secretariat of the Central European Initiative (CEI) take note with great regret of the fact that the recent developments have severely hampered the CEI's mission, undermining its strategic goals and principle objectives, and diminishing the results achieved in more than 30 years since its establishment.
The main aim behind its creation was that of promoting good-neighbourly relations and multifaceted cooperation between its Member States, thus safeguarding peace, ensuring stability and pursuing prosperity in the region. This is now seriously threatened, with one of its Member States - Ukraine - witnessing an unjustified attack of its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The risk of the latter is not only that of disenchanting the ideal of regional cooperation, but of going back in history when war was considered as a tool to impose single interests over common ones. But we know the current multiple challenges cannot be addressed alone, and war is unacceptable in 2022.
In this regard, we at the Secretariat still believe that effective political dialogue and good multilateral diplomacy, coupled with a common sense, must be at the heart of the current situation. We also believe that they will prevail and contribute to an urgent cease of military activities, thus urgently stopping the bloodshed and loss of lives as well as helping the return to a constructive environment in which we - all our Member States - can jointly address the many challenges for the benefit of our citizens, who have already suffered enough from the pandemic.
Immediate measures to support the Ukrainian citizens are under way within the Secretariat, thus demonstrating the gains of regional cooperation and solidarity.
We stand with Ukraine!