On October 30, as part of the visit of the North Atlantic Council to Ukraine, Minister of Defense Andrii Zagorodniuk held a meeting with a North Atlantic Council delegation headed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
At the beginning of the meeting, Andrii Zagorodniuk thanked foreign colleagues for their visit and continued support for Ukraine on the path of reform in accordance with NATO standards.
"It is important for us to maintain a high level of cooperation and exchange of information with NATO to provide security both in our country and in the region as a whole," said Andrii Zagorodniuk.
Minister of Defense informed the foreign delegation about the current situation in the East of Ukraine as well as measures taken by the leadership of the state and the Ministry of Defense in order to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. He has also paid special attention to the issue of illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula by the Russian Federation.
"We exert every effort to draw attention to this issue, as it is the first such security breach in the region since the Second World War," emphasized Andriy Zagorodnyuk. "Before the occupation of Crimea by Russia, the Black Sea area was a zone of stability. However, we are now seeing a major violation of international maritime law in the Black Sea and a significant militarization. All that causes a number of problems for commercial shipping and access to certain areas. We will draw the attention of the international community to such cases," noted the Minister of Defense of Ukraine. "First of all, we will act at all possible political levels and international institutions. We would like to be an integral part of the NATO group in the Black Sea which should also be a step towards solving this problem," added Andrii Zagorodniuk.
Andriy Zagorodniuk also emphasized that Russia’s actions in the Black Sea is not only a problem for Ukraine and the countries of the Black Sea area but have an international character, as militarization and escalation in international waters have global security repercussions. Therefore, this issue must be taken into account and introduced in the policies of the countries concerned.