Ukraine has no grounds to rely on the cessation of Russia's aggression in the near future. However, expansion of NATO presence in the Black Sea region could deter the Kremlin. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze during a meeting with Fiona Hill, Special Assistant to the U.S. President and Senior Director for European and Russian Affairs.
"The U.S. leadership in strengthening NATO's military presence in the Black Sea region is incredibly important. This is the only way that can allow to halt Russia’s aggressive actions," Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze stated.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Ukraine is counting on further deliberate attention from the U.S. side to the situation in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea, and it expects that the United States will continue condemning the Russian armed attack on the Ukrainian Navy ships near the Kerch Strait.
"Russia's aggressive actions undermine regional and international security. The Kremlin neglects international law and bilateral agreements. Such behavior requires increased pressure on Russia," Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze emphasized.
The Deputy Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the United States for its continued and staunchest support of Ukraine and placed a special emphasis on the importance of strengthening economic sanctions against Russia. She also underlined that Kyiv continues to implement reforms that are key element for preparing Ukraine for NATO membership.
"The implementation of the law on national security is our priority task for this year. In January, a draft law on parliamentary control over the activities of special services and law enforcement agencies was registered in the Verkhovna Rada. I hope it will be endorsed by MPs", Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze added.
The Deputy Prime Minister placed a special emphasis on the need for an urgent resumption of the NATO-Ukraine Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers, which is now being blocked by Hungary and she added that Ukraine pays considerable attention to protecting the rights of national minorities and seeks to resolve this issue in a bilateral dialogue with Hungary.