First and foremost, I would like to extend our congratulations on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of Independence of Ukraine and to wish every success in the course of state-building, as well as in the restoration of territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders.
I also wish every success to the Crimea Platform aimed at these objectives.
GUAM activities are firmly based on the norms and principles of international law, provisions of the UN Charter, Helsinki Final Act, and other main documents defining the principles of peaceful coexistence. Hence, mutual support of territorial integrity and sovereignty within internationally recognized borders forms the cornerstone of cooperation among our friendly nations and strategic partners.
Four states are united by shared goals and interests, as well as by common challenges caused by belligerent separatism and foreign aggression. As a result, the territorial integrity and sovereignty in all four states have been violated in flagrant infringement of international law.
Conflicts on the territories of the GUAM Member States hamper national development and pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security, and stability. For over two decades, the GUAM Member States have been voicing their concerns at all major international platforms.
Regardless of numerous resolutions and decisions of the UNGA, UNSC, and other major international bodies in support of the territorial integrity of the GUAM Member States, all international mediation initiatives in conflicts resolution in the region so far have failed.
The following lessons can be drawn from the experience in the region in this respect:
- inadequate and insufficient actions of the international community in response to blatant violations of law and impunity of perpetrators in first instances subsequently led to more violations;
- as a consequence, the force of law is being substituted by the law of force, becoming a so-called new «norm»;
- against that background, endless and fruitless efforts in conflict resolution mediation prove neither sustainable nor justifiable and provoke new escalations of tension with potentially dangerous and unpredictable consequences.
The recent war in the region to liberate illegally occupied territories is a stark reminder.
As a regional stakeholder, GUAM is keen and willing to support all initiatives promoting peace and cooperation. Furthermore, GUAM geography is becoming of ever-growing geostrategic significance, and it should become an integral part of emerging connectivity and security architecture in a wider European space.
Our flagship initiatives – GUAM Transport Corridor and GUAM Free Trade Area serve these objectives. We are confident that development of an alternative artery connecting East and West, passing through the area of free trade and transit, will contribute to peace, security, and development in the wider Black Sea region and thus, support the objectives of this initiative.
We are looking forward to cooperation.
Thank you for kind attention!