The leaders of 11 southeastern European countries signed the Athens Declaration in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity during the Balkans Summit.
According to the declaration, the Balkan nations expressed their unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, based on democracy and the rule of law, in the face of Russian aggression.
It also notes that outside the Western Balkans, Ukraine and Moldova, which are geographically adjacent to EU member states, share a common European heritage, and these regions are accepted as full members of the European family.
Which countries participated in the summit?
The document was signed by Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine, Montenegro, Greece, Romania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Croatia in the presence of the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a key moment for Europe, creating a new awareness of common principles, unity, and a common future within the EU. This is a critical moment for the security, peace, and stability of our European continent,”The Athens Summit declaration
The key statement of the declaration
The document also notes that the laws and principles that have long contributed to a stable and predictable European security order have been violated, and we have once again witnessed the destructive effects of revisionism.
States agreed that there can be no impunity for war crimes and other atrocities, such as attacks on civilians and the destruction of infrastructure, and that all those responsible must be brought to justice.
The declaration stressed the need for a revitalised and refocused enlargement process that is tangible and credible, with no detours to the conditions set. We expressed our readiness to support Ukraine and Moldova in taking the next steps in their accession process once they have completed the necessary reforms.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis signed a joint declaration on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration in Athens the day before.
The summit agreed to remove the requirement for a Membership Action Plan on Ukraine’s path to the Alliance. At the same time, the Allies made it clear that they would invite Ukraine to join NATO “when the conditions are met”. The Annual National Programme (ANP) will become a tool for monitoring Ukraine’s reforms, which Ukraine already has at its disposal.