“Despite russia’s aggression against Ukraine, you have decided to personally participate in the 62nd session of the PABSEC General Assembly. Thank you for your visit and solidarity with Ukraine. And for the fact that the work of the PABSEC is taking place today here in Kyiv to demonstrate to the whole world the importance of both the PABSEC organisation and the events taking place,” the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine said in his address to the participants.

Ruslan Stefanchuk noted that the presence of the delegates at the PABSEC General Assembly is a manifestation of true friendship and a signal of support for Ukraine.

“russia is continuing its full-scale war of aggression against our country and is unwilling to stop. Since 24 February 2022, Ukraine has been subjected to devastating missile attacks by the russian federation on a daily basis,” he said, adding that the aggressor is hitting civilian objects and destroying infrastructure, and russia continues to destroy transport infrastructure, making it impossible for international transport corridors to function and disrupting logistics chains: “Both Ukraine and other countries are feeling the consequences.”

In addition, Ruslan Stefanchuk reminded that on 6 June 2023, the russian federation blew up the dam of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant: “This man-made environmental disaster has long-term negative consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for the Black Sea countries that are members of the BSEC.” “russia also continues to illegally transfer civilians, minors and young orphans from the occupied territories. People are being forcibly transferred to the territory of russia, belarus, the temporarily occupied Crimea and Sevastopol,” he stressed.

“The whole world understands one simple truth: Ukraine is defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter,” the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine said, expressing his belief that Ukraine’s victory is crucial for regional, European and global security.

“The Black Sea must once again become a sea of trade, tourism and peace, not a battlefield with russia as it is now. We are confident that only with the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, it will be possible to restore the world order based on international law,” said the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine.

He also emphasised that restoring respect for the principles of the UN Charter is one of the main elements of the President Zelenskyi’s Peace Formula: “The 5th point of the Formula is aimed at restoring the territorial integrity of our state and ensuring consolidation of efforts to improve the existing mechanisms for implementing the UN Charter, and the implementation of this task will contribute to strengthening global security and prevent potential revisionists from returning the rule of force to the agenda of international relations.”

“For Ukraine, it is of fundamental importance to ensure a secure environment in the Black Sea region and freedom of navigation in the Black Sea,” said Ruslan Stefanchuk, adding that the military threat from russia is currently among the main obstacles to the BSEC member states’ ability to establish long-term cooperation: “In fact, we are deprived of the opportunity to initiate projects that would have a positive economic impact on the countries of the region." 

“We all need to continue and deepen cooperation on strengthening security in the Black Sea region. We must respond to the challenges and consequences of russia’s armed aggression. The security of the region is indivisible – it cannot be restored without the full restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, including Crimea,” the Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine stressed.

In addition, he recalled the successful holding of the International Crimean Platform, which has already become a true symbol of the united efforts of the international community to counter russian aggression, liberate all the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and restore security and stability in our region, as well as the First Black Sea Security Conference of the International Crimean Platform, co-organised by Ukraine and Romania, on 12-13 April in Bucharest.

In conclusion, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine noted that a number of parliaments have recognised russia as a terrorist state or a sponsor of terrorism: “We call on the parliaments of all the member states of our organisation that have not yet done so to recognise russia as a terrorist state.”

“The PABSEC has a difficult choice to make: leave things as they are and allow russia to destroy the organisation or take action and find a way to stop russia. At a time when the future of security is at stake, not only in the Black Sea region but also in the whole world, decisive action is needed,” he said, adding that russia’s continued presence in the PABSEC and BSEC undermines the credibility of the Organisation as an important international institution.

“The parliaments of our countries are interested in peace, justice and prosperity in the Black Sea region. We have to join forces and demonstrate our readiness to counteract the kremlin’s aggressive policy,” said the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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