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Minister Stefan Dimitrov: The war in Ukraine has put the Black Sea region on the line of a new division between Russia and the West and strengthened its strategic importance

15 April 2024 News

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Stefan Dimitrov opened today at the Central Military Club in Sofia the Second High-Level Conference on Security in the Black Sea in the framework of the International Crimea Platform.

In his speech, Minister Dimitrov emphasized the serious consequences of Russia's war against Ukraine, stressing the need for a public and international reaction to protect the fundamental values and principles of international law. ‘The war in Ukraine has put the Black Sea region on the line of a new division between Russia and the West, thus reinforcing its strategic importance with new dimensions’, the Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs said. ‘These challenges require a unified, determined and systemic response. They call for more active and comprehensive regional and international cooperation aimed at maintaining security, safety, stability and freedom of navigation in the Black Sea region’, he pointed out.

‘A political vision for the future that could contribute to security is for the Black Sea to be surrounded as much as possible by democratic states that respect the rule of law, protect fundamental human rights and are free to choose their foreign policy orientation and affiliation’, our first diplomat said.

Minister Stefan Dimitrov stressed that Bulgaria will continue to support Ukraine in its efforts to achieve a just and sustainable peace. He also expressed Bulgaria’s support for the implementation of the Ukraine's Peace Formula welcoming Switzerland's initiative to convene the first Peace Summit in June. ‘We expect this forum to set a framework for future negotiations with Russia and to define a clear roadmap based on the principles of the Peace Formula, the UN Charter and international law’, Minister Dimitrov said.

‘I am confident that the Second High-Level Conference on Security in the Black Sea will make a significant contribution to our joint efforts to formulate concrete recommendations for further steps to strengthen security in the wider Black Sea region’, the Foreign Minister concluded.

In the framework of the forum, Minister Dimitrov held meetings with Mykola Tochytskyi, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Dr. Tobias Lindner, Minister for State at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

The opening of the conference, which was jointly organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense of Ukraine, in partnership with the Center for Defense Strategies (Ukraine), was attended by the Minister of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria Atanas Zapryanov. Dmytro Kuleba, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Antony Blinken, Secretary of State of the United States, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States also gave pre-recorded video addresses.

Delegations from 42 countries and 8 international organisations are participating in the Second Black Sea Security Conference this year. Participants in the forum are discussing today in Sofia the latest developments in the field of security in the Black Sea region, the consequences of Russia's ongoing military aggression against Ukraine and further steps to strengthen security in the region.

The format of the International Crimean Platform was established in Kyiv on 23 August 2021 at the initiative of Ukraine and under the patronage of President Volodymyr Zelensky. It enjoys the strong support of the EU and European Member States, the United States, as well as other partners, and aims to de-occupy Crimea by directing and coordinating the efforts of the international community to resolve the issue related to the illegal annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation.

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