Ukraine's capabilities in Transatlantic security and cooperation, as well as greater involvement of NATO partners in strengthening the security of the Black Sea, were discussed during the online forum of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) with the participation of Olha Stefanishina, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine.
The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation had led to the loss of 70% of Ukraine’s maritime assets. With the support of international partners, Ukraine is rebuilding its navy, in particular through building of new bases.
"Security in the Black Sea, Crimea are not only a matter of Ukraine's national interests but also a matter of security for the entire region, which is high on NATO's agenda. With the support of our international partners, we are working to restore the Ukrainian fleet, investing in strengthening its capabilities and capacity," stressed Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that Sea Breeze 2020 international naval exercises took place in Ukraine this July, where 26 ships and 19 planes from 8 allies and partners (Bulgaria, Georgia, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA) ) conducted training in air defense, anti-submarine warfare, damage control, and search and rescue.
"Joint exercises with NATO member states are a strong signal that despite such global challenges as the coronavirus crisis, our partners stand side by side with the Ukrainian military in confronting the daily threats to the security of the Black Sea," said Olha Stefanishyna. "Thanks to NATO's Enhanced Opportunities Partner status, Ukraine will be able to play a more active role in shaping the security of the Black Sea, sharing our unique experience in countering hybrid threats."
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Sea Breeze 2020 has helped increase the readiness and compatibility of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and NATO member states. Olha Stefanishyna also called for increasing the presence of partners in the Black Sea and Ukraine's participation in NATO member states' security measures.
The annual CEPA Forum is a leading conference on Transatlantic security issues with the participation of American, Central and Eastern European politicians. The Forum brings together more than 400 government and business decision-makers, as well as security and policy experts. Participants consider the most pressing issues, challenges and problems facing NATO. This year's Forum focuses on the future of Europe at a time of growing threats to democracies posed by new digital technologies and geopolitical competition.