Visegrad Group expresses support for territorial integrity and sovereignty of Eastern Partnership countries – UPDATED (Azeri-Press News Agency)

Recent events in Ukraine have shown that the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are not granted on the European continent

The Visegrad Group (V4 Ministers) supports the territorial integrity, independence and sovereignty of Eastern Partnership countries, said the final statement adopted at the meeting of the foreign ministers of the Visegrad Group and the Eastern Partnership countries in Bratislava.

According to the statement, recent events in Ukraine have shown that the fundamental principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity are not granted on the European continent.

The event was also attended by the foreign ministers of Latvia, Romania and Sweden, the vice-president of the European Commission and the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy and the commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

The meeting focused on assessing current and outlining future cooperation with the partner countries of the Eastern Partnership. The participants discussed the current developments in the region of the Eastern Partnership, preparations for the forthcoming Riga Summit, as well as future tasks in view of the challenges in the region.

The V4 Ministers reaffirmed their support to the Eastern Partnership as a strategic dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy based on mutual values, interests and commitments. They acknowledged the Eastern partners’ sovereign right to choose the level of the ambition in their relations with the European Union and their readiness to continue to shape bilateral relations individually. The participants underlined that strengthening democracy, enabling functioning market economies, improving macro-economic stability, business and investment environment, mobility and people to people contacts open new spheres and perspectives of cooperation. The V4 Ministers stressed that the increased cooperation with the Eastern partners, based on the shared values and principles of democracy, contributes to prosperity and stability in the region and is not directed against anyone.

The V4 Ministers stressed the importance of keeping the inclusive nature of the Eastern Partnership and strengthening ties with Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan and Belarus which have decided to take their own paths in relations with the European Union. They welcomed the actions taken since the Vilnius Summit in 2013 in developing individually tailored bilateral relations between the European Union and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

The V4 Ministers reiterated the readiness of their countries to share experience of the political and economic transition, as well as integration to the European Union with the Eastern partners.