The Central European Initiative (CEI) strongly condemns the unjustifiable, more than a month-long military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, a valued member of the CEI. The Russian assault on medical institutions, using cluster bombs and killing innocent civilians is inhumane and completely unacceptable. It is a flagrant breach of international law and goes against every CEI principle, eroding the results of decades of joint work on enhancing regional integration. The CEI stands with Ukraine and its people and fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
It is unacceptable for the CEI that the government of one of its Member States – the Republic of Belarus – has been complicit in the vicious attack against Ukraine. Having regard to the actions of Belarus, which represent a clear violation of the CEI Guidelines and Rules of Procedure, the UN Charter, the OSCE political commitments and the declarations and documents from the meetings of the Heads of Government and the Foreign Ministers of the CEI, on 25 March 2022, the CEI Member States unanimously decided to suspend the Republic of Belarus of its rights of representation in the CEI.
At the same time, the CEI has expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people through a donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross, aimed at urgently delivering humanitarian support to the most affected population. Ukraine was also exempt from the obligation of paying its annual contribution to the CEI Cooperation Fund.
Pursuant to its mission of promoting good-neighbourly relations and multifaceted cooperation between its Member States, thus safeguarding peace, ensuring stability, and pursuing prosperity in the region, and as the oldest and largest Central European organisation, the CEI will continue to support Ukraine and push for an immediate ending of the brutal aggression against it.