The declaration is supposed to show unity against Russia after the recent escalation between Ukraine and Russia.
The recent Russian military build-up near the Ukrainian border made Ukraine and many nearby countries such as Poland nervous. The presidents of Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania met yesterday and signed a joint declaration showing unity in the current times of crisis.
“We express the conviction that the prosperity of our common heritage and common home, rooted in the European civilization, demands that, just like home, also Europe be built on the basis of fundamental values and principles. These are with no doubt: freedom, sovereignty, territorial integrity, democracy, the rule of law, equality, and solidarity. A uniting Europe should remain open to all countries and nations which share the above-mentioned values,” reads the joint declaration of the heads of state.
“We believe that to all of us the solidarity of nations, especially under current threats to our common security, is one of the cornerstones of peace, stability, development, prosperity, and resilience. Led by this assertion we are committed to continuing the dialogue and cooperation among the states we represent,” it read.
A part of Ukraine’s strategy
The joint declaration came with nothing concrete and is a sign of unity between the five countries. Since the Russian military build-up started a couple of months ago, Ukraine has tried to secure backing in both the EU, U.S., and the Middle East with several visits with the heads of states. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is currently in Poland on a working visit.
Russia has claimed that Ukraine is guilty of the recent escalation. Ukraine is provoking Russia and the separatists, and that Ukraine is trying to change the current Minsk peace agreement that it signed back in 2015. It is something that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently denied.
“It is the Russian Federation that is constantly trying to withdraw from Minsk talks as it does not fulfill clause 1 of the Minsk Agreements – the need to cease fire,” the Foreign Minister stressed to Ukrinform, ”We believe that the Normandy format can have an effect, but if the situation comes to a standstill, we must look for an alternative. And when the president raises this question, he does so not to destroy the Normandy format or the Minsk process but in order to encourage all current participants in these formats to work actively.”