The informal meeting of the US-Adriatic Charter (A5) initiative in the framework of Macedonia’s A5 presidency began in Skopje on Tuesday.

The meeting was opened by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bujar Osmani, in his capacity as A5 chairman, while the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, also gave a welcoming address.

In the address, Osmani presented the priorities of our presidency of the Charter, which is being held on the 20th anniversary of its establishment. At the same time, he reaffirmed his strong support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, as well as his strong condemnation of Russian aggression.

Today’s ministerial meeting is another opportunity to emphasize the previous support of the member states of the Charter for Ukraine, but also to emphasize our readiness for further, practical and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people. From the beginning of the war until today, all A5 member countries from the region have donated about 17 million dollars in humanitarian aid, while the majority of member countries from the region have provided about 214 million dollars in military aid. Together with the United States, these sums exceed 1.62 billion dollars in humanitarian aid, that is, 32.7 billion in military aid, emphasized Osmani.

Minister Kuleba welcomed the activities and priorities of Macedonia’s A5 presidency, which is being held in the conditions of Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine, noting that A5 is of essential importance for the security of Europe.

It is crucial that the Adriatic Charter adapts to the new reality in light of current security challenges. I welcome your plans to strengthen the political role of the Charter and find new security mechanisms for the region. The Adriatic Charter facilitated Balkan Euro-Atlantic integration. Ukraine is on its way to NATO, so we know how important that was, said Kuleba.