Eleven leaders of Balkan countries including Greece issued the Athens Declaration statement after an informal dinner held by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Monday night.
After the dinner, the 11 leaders issued the Athens Declaration statement, which begins with: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a pivotal moment for Europe, creating a new level of awareness of shared principles, unity and common future within the EU.”
“This is a critical time for the security, peace and stability of our European continent,” the leaders declared.
The statement outlined the Western Balkans, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova as geographically adjacent to EU Member States with “a common European heritage, history and a future defined by shared opportunities and challenges.”
The leaders stressed the importance of these regions to be “embraced as full-fledged members of the European family.”
The Athens Declaration statement is a new manifestation witnessed by the Balkan leaders, including Greece, “in the face of Russian aggression” to express “support for Ukraine’s independence.”
The leaders expressed support and appreciation to Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who also attended the informal meeting on Monday in Athens.
After the meeting, Greece and Ukraine confirmed their commitment to join NATO, endorsing a joint declaration regarding Ukraine’s aspirations in the Euro-Atlantic realm, which was signed in Athens on Monday evening, reported amna.gr.
The “Joint Declaration of the Hellenic Republic and Ukraine on the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine” states the Hellenic Republic’s commitment to “participate together with international organizations, allies and partners in the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine after the war.”
Mitsotakis emphasized Greece’s commitment to aiding Ukraine in this endeavour, highlighting that Greece has been consistently supporting the nation since the commencement of the conflict, according to Ekathimerini.