Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

ATHENS, Greece — Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskyy met Tuesday with leaders of Balkan nations and the top of the European Fee on the sidelines of a gathering between European and Balkan leaders within the Greek capital.

The leaders included Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, whose nation has refused to hitch the worldwide sanctions imposed on its conventional ally Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“An open, sincere, and fruitful assembly with the President of Serbia,” Zelenskyy posted on the X social media platform previously referred to as Twitter. “Good dialog on respect for the UN Constitution and the inviolability of borders. On our nations’ shared future within the widespread European residence. On growing our relationships, that’s in our mutual curiosity.”

It was the primary time Zelenskyy, who arrived in Athens on Monday afternoon, met with Vucic because the begin of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine final yr.

Chatting with reporters, Vucic described the assembly as “good and open.”

“I repeated that Serbia respects the territorial integrity of Ukraine, not like some who respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, however not Serbia,” Vucic stated, referring to Serbia’s former province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008 and is acknowledged by most European Union states, however not by Russia and China.

Ukraine additionally doesn’t acknowledge Kosovo’s independence, however there have been indicators lately that it’d due to Belgrade’s pro-Moscow narrative over the struggle.

Vucic stated after the assembly with Zelenskyy that he was “virtually sure” Ukraine is not going to acknowledge Kosovo.

The Serbian president, whose nation seeks EU membership, stated he “managed to make sure” {that a} formal declaration issued after Monday’s assembly in Athens of the Balkan leaders doesn’t embody a textual content on sanctions in opposition to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

“There are issues for which we aren’t prepared at this second,” Vucic stated. “As a lot as we might, we protected our pursuits.”

Zelenskyy additionally met with European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen, whom he stated he thanked “for her efforts to normalize Ukraine’s agricultural exports and transit.”

Von der Leyen stated the 2 mentioned “Ukraine’s progress on the EU path in addition to our continued help within the face of Russia’s aggression.”

“We’ll proceed working collectively to convey Ukraine’s grain to world markets and to supply financial help,” she tweeted.

Ukraine’s economic system depends closely on farming, and its grain is essential for world provides of wheat, barley and sunflower oil.

Final month, Russia broke off a key wartime delivery settlement that allowed protected passage of grain exports via the Black Sea.

The suspension marked the top of an accord the United Nations and Turkey brokered final yr to permit shipments of meals from the Black Sea area after Russia’s invasion of its neighbor worsened a world meals disaster. The initiative was credited with serving to cut back hovering costs of wheat, vegetable oil and different international meals commodities.

Whereas in Athens, Zelenskyy additionally met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov, the president of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovachevski and the prime minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic.

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By Admin

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