Ukraine urges NATO to develop Black Sea strategy

AFP , Thursday 13 Apr 2023

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Thursday urged the West to turn the Black Sea into a "sea of NATO" a year after the sinking of a flagship Russian warship.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg addresses a media conference during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, April 5, 2023. (AP )


"It's time to work out a comprehensive security network for all nations of all the region that feel threatened," Kuleba told a conference on Black Sea security by video.

"It's time to turn (the) Black Sea into what the Baltic Sea has become: a sea of NATO," he added.

The conference takes place on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

The warship sank in mid-April last year following what the Kremlin called an explosion on board. Ukraine said its forces struck the vessel with missiles.

"I regret to say, but the West had no consistent Black Sea strategy, while Russia has always had one: aggressive, revanchist, and barbaric," Kuleba said.

He said Ukraine wanted "peaceful, law-abiding countries" to be able to "once again use the shared sea to trade, travel and live freely without fear of Russian warships".

Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikov also attended the conference together with his Romanian and Moldovan counterparts.

Initiated by Kyiv, the two-day conference brings together decision makers, officials and experts to discuss security in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

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