European Interest

Presidents of Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Slovakia meet in Kyiv

Office of the President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy held meetings with President of the Czech Republic Petr Pavel and President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová in Kyiv on April 28.

During the negotiations with the President of the Czech Republic, the Ukrainian President thanked the Czech government and the entire society for the comprehensive support of Ukraine since the first days of the full-scale Russian invasion.

“Thank you for your visit, which began in Bucha and Borodyanka. We highly appreciate the support from your country, your society from the first day of the full-scale invasion,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

For his part, the President of the Czech Republic expressed support for Ukraine and admiration for the resolve and grit of the Ukrainian people fighting for their independence.

At a meeting with President of Slovakia Zuzana Čaputová, the Ukrainian Head of State thanked her country for its humanitarian and defense support to Ukraine.

“Thank you for the support of Ukrainians who are temporarily in your country, for the support from your society. I also thank you for the powerful support of our army on the battlefield,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

He noted the importance of Slovakia’s help in the reconstruction of Ukraine.

For her part, Zuzana Čaputová emphasized Slovakia’s comprehensive support for Ukraine.

Joint Declaration by Presidents of Ukraine, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic

On 28 April 2023, the three heads of states issued the following Joint Declaration:

Marking the 30th anniversary since the establishment of mutual diplomatic relations and reflecting on close friendly relations among Ukraine, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic,

Sharing a common history, common universal values and the common future in the European project of peace and prosperity,

Underlining that the shared history of the three nations and mutual respect offer a solid basis for enhancing further mutually beneficial cooperation and intensive ties in areas of joint interests with positive impacts for the people,

Emphasizing the EU and NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and recalling all the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to this end,

Condemning in the strongest possible terms Russian Federation’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine that undermines the basic principles of the United Nations’ Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the international rules-based order,

Supporting Ukraine’s inherent right to self-defense based on Article 51 of the United Nations’ Charter and its sovereign right to decide about its own future and to choose its own security arrangements,

Appreciating the unprecedented role and scale of the assistance provided by the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic from the very beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including through lethal and non-lethal military assistance, winterization, humanitarian aid, hospitality and strong support for the refugees from Ukraine on their soil,

Acknowledging Ukraine’s significant contribution to the security of Euro-Atlantic area and beyond, in particular through heroically standing up to Russia’s military aggression,

Recalling that the Constitution of Ukraine defines acquiring full-fledged membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as a strategic course of the state and noting the overwhelming support of Ukraine’s population in this regard,

Recalling the Joint Statement of Presidents of nine Central and Eastern European NATO Member States as of October 2, 2022, which highlighted the support to Ukraine’s future membership in the Alliance and encouraged the Allies to increase their military assistance to Ukraine substantially,

The Presidents of three nations:

●      Emphasize sharing universal values, including respect for dignity, freedom, democracy, equality and diversity, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including rights of persons belonging to national minorities, and media freedom that are at the heart of the EU project;

●      Agree that a sovereign, free and democratic Ukraine is one of the key factors for ensuring security and stability in Europe;

●      Reconfirm mutual interest in advancing and further deepening mutual cooperation and partnerships in areas such as economy, trade, energy or infrastructure, research and science;

●      Deplore attempts of the Russian Federation to forcefully change the internationally recognized borders threatening both the foundations of peace and stability in Europe and international security, which thus must be faced collectively and globally;

●  Reiterate that the Russian Federation must immediately, completely, and unconditionally withdraw all of its military and paramilitary forces from the internationally recognized territory of Ukraine and suspend the military operations as specifically stipulated in the Order of the International Court of Justice of 16 March 2022;

●      Underline that Ukraine has the exclusive right to decide about the modalities of the future peace talks to achieve lasting and just peace for the generations to come, and express their support to President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula towards a Global Peace Summit to be convened when conditions are ripe;

●      Deplore the dire human rights and humanitarian consequences of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine as well as violations of international humanitarian law, that include continuous attacks against critical infrastructure across Ukraine with devastating consequences for the everyday lives of civilians;

●      Express grave concerns at the rising number of civilian casualties, including women and children, resulting in millions of refugees and internally displaced persons in constant need of humanitarian assistance, and being especially shocked by atrocities and abuses of women and children, including their killings, torture, rape, forcible transfers, deportations and the identity changes;

●      Underline their firm commitment to bring to justice and ensure full accountability for all those responsible for acts that constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity and other most serious crimes under international law committed against Ukraine and its people, including the crime of aggression, and support efforts towards the establishment of a special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine;

●  Emphasize that sanctions play an essential role in stopping Russia’s war of aggression and call upon other countries to join them and/or to prevent their circumvention;

●      Understanding the importance of post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and future reparations for damages caused to Ukraine by the aggressor, they undertake to explore further the possible use of frozen assets of the Russian Federation in that respect;

●  Recall the historic decision of the EU leaders of 23 June 2022, recognizing the European perspective for Ukraine and granting the country the candidate status. Ukraine highly appreciates the Slovak and the Czech Republics’ strong support in this respect and looks forward to starting accession negotiations in 2023.

●  Acknowledge the considerable progress that Ukraine has already achieved on its alignment with the EU standards since adoption of the AA/DCFTA vis-á-vis unprecedented challenges posed by Russia’s continued aggression;

●  Reaffirm that the Slovak and the Czech Republics are ready to continue supporting dynamic accession process of Ukraine to the EU based on its reforms progress, notably with regard to the 7 recommendations outlined in the EC´s Opinion, as well as gradual integration of Ukraine into the EU´s policies and actions with special focus on the internal EU market;

●  Agree that continued implementation of the structural reforms by Ukraine with the assistance of the EU and its Member States is essential for strengthening Ukraine’s resilience and its own prosperity. The Slovak and Czech Republics will continue to assist Ukraine with its transformation efforts, including through sharing their integration experiences;

●      Reaffirm the necessity of a transparent process of recovery and the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine based on the EU reform agendas and in close cooperation with civil society to safeguard the European future of modern Ukraine, and express mutual interest in working together on relief and reconstruction, wherever safe and possible;

●      Reconfirm mutual interest to sustain and further strengthen Ukraine’s defense capabilities vis-à-vis Russia’s aggression, the Slovak and the Czech Republics’ support providing necessary assistance and enhancing mutual cooperation in the military industry field and training;

●      Agree to further encourage robust international political, practical and material support for Ukraine aimed at ensuring its abilities to effectively defend its territories on land, at sea and in the air;

●      Reaffirm their intention to cooperate at European and international fora with regard to liberation of Ukraine’s territories temporarily occupied by Russia, particularly by promoting President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula and the International Crimea Platform;

●      Emphasize the global importance of Ukraine’s consistent efforts of continuing the Black Sea Grain Initiative and the Grain from Ukraine Humanitarian Program, aimed at enhancing the world-wide food security, and agree to mitigate the risks of abusing the Green corridors;

●      Express their readiness to contribute to processes regarding the new international security arrangements for Ukraine before its NATO membership;

●      Welcome Ukraine’s significant progress in advancing on the path of Euro-Atlantic integration, in particular with regard to the country’s growing interoperability with NATO standards;

●      Confirm their commitment to strengthen joint efforts to ensure further progress towards implementation of EU and NATO standards by Ukraine on its path towards the membership in both organizations;

●  Note that the Slovak and the Czech Republics as two NATO members stand ready to intensify their support of Ukraine’s ambition to join the Alliance once the conditions allow for it;

●  Agree that Ukraine, the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic will work closely on all the matters mentioned above in bilateral, trilateral or multilateral formats.

Signed in Kyiv on 28 April 2023, in English language.

For Ukraine                                        H.E. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

For the Slovak Republic                     H.E. President Zuzana Čaputová

For the Czech Republic                       H.E. President Petr Pavel

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