On 7 November 2022, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov hosted the annual meeting of the CEI Foreign Ministers in Sofia. Supporting Ukraine in the ongoing Russian aggression against it; mitigating the impact the war is having across the region, on its citizens and economies; furthering European integration and diversification of energy supplies, were among the topics analysed and discussed, especially with regard to the recent escalation in Ukraine, witnessing attacks to cities and civilian infrastructures.
The Ministers underlined the CEI’s valuable role in fostering constructive regional cooperation among its Member States and its concrete actions. They noted that this role had become even more vital in view of the pressing international challenges; and that it would be of particular importance also in rebuilding Ukraine and in the European integration process.
Minister Milkov underlined the CEI’s efforts in helping Ukraine from a practical point of view, with its involvement in different projects and through tangible contributions; he recalled the crucial efforts non-EU countries were making to become European members, expressing his country’s support towards integration.
Secretary General Roberto Antonione announced further CEI support for Ukraine and its people and expressed his appreciation to the Republic of Moldova for having confirmed its CEI Presidency in 2023. He underlined that a coordinated approach in tackling the spillover effects of the war was key, especially given the geographical vicinity of the CEI region to the war.
“The political project of EU integration is the only way forward”, he said
The Ministers identified coordination, solidarity and unity as the answers to the pressing issues. This and other important messages were sent and incorporated into their Joint Statement adopted at the end of the gathering.
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