Bulgaria’s President and 8 other leaders signed: "Russia is the Most Significant and Direct Threat" to NATODefense | February 23, 2023, Thursday // 10:03| views
“Russia is the most significant and direct threat to the security of allies,” was said a declaration adopted by the presidents of nine countries on NATO's eastern flank after their meeting with US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Warsaw on Wednesday.
The presidents of Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as the prime minister of the Czech Republic, condemn "in the most categorical way" the war started by Russia against Ukraine a year ago.
"We condemn Russia's aggressive war in the strongest possible terms. The civilian death toll in Ukraine is rising due to Russia's indiscriminate missile strikes and deliberate attacks on critical infrastructure, including using the Black Sea as a launch pad. Those responsible for atrocities and war crimes will be held accountable," said the document released after the meeting in Warsaw.
The document, signed by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, as well as Hungary's head of state Katalin Novak, expressed determination to "maintain international pressure on Russia" and that "we condemn all, including Belarus, who actively support Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine ".
"Russia gravely erred by invading Ukraine and undermining the rules-based international order. We are stronger and more united than ever, reaffirming the enduring transatlantic bond between our nations. We will continue to strive for peace, security and stability in the entire Euro-Atlantic region," the document also says.
The presidents of the nine NATO countries stated that "Ukraine is exercising its legitimate right to defend itself against Russian aggression to regain full control over its territory and has the right to liberate the occupied territories within its internationally recognized borders."
"We will continue to support Ukraine's efforts to this end as long as necessary. We salute the heroism of the Ukrainian people and the valor of its military. We pay tribute to Ukrainian servicemen and women who defend their freedom and our shared values," the final document said from the meeting in Warsaw.
It reaffirms the understanding that "Ukraine's future is in Europe" and that the nine strongly support its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The declaration from Warsaw also expresses readiness for cooperation and support for Moldova, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, "which are most threatened by the destabilizing and malicious influence of the Kremlin, to the east and south of the Alliance".
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