Minister Radosław Sikorski Attends Council of the Baltic Sea States Session in Porvoo, Finland

Minister Radosław Sikorski participated in the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) Ministerial Session, hosted by Finland. This gathering included foreign ministers from Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Lithuania, Latvia, Germany, Norway, Poland, and Sweden, as well as the Secretary of State from Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a representative from the European Union.

The session centered on enhancing cooperation across the Baltic region despite challenges, notably those arising from Russia’s aggressive stance. Discussions at the session also delved into improving crisis response and combating hybrid threats more effectively.

The ministers recognized the unique role of the CBSS, as it unites all EU and NATO countries in the region and is noted for its significant political influence.

During the session, the Porvoo Declaration was issued, wherein attendees condemned Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, describing it as unprovoked and unjustified. They underscored the urgency of holding Russia accountable, including full compensation for damages and bolstering sanctions against it. The declaration also reaffirmed unwavering support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, its European Union integration, and its prospective NATO membership.

Participants highlighted the surge in Russia’s hybrid tactics, including the manipulative use of migration at regional borders, orchestrated by Russia and Belarus. They urged these nations to cease all hostile activities and stressed the importance of regional cooperation to counter these threats effectively.

Concerns were also raised about the so-called “shadow fleet” transporting Russian oil through the Baltic Sea, necessitating stringent actions within the sanction framework. The ministers applauded the CBSS’s adaptability to new challenges and emphasized the need for further collaborative advancements.

Looking ahead, Estonia is set to assume the presidency of the Council in July 2024, with Poland preparing to continue the leadership trio after Estonia in July 2025.

In addition to the session, on June 13, Minister Sikorski, at the invitation of Finnish President Alexander Stubb, participated in a debate on the future of Europe at the Kultaranta Talks conference, focusing on Europe’s global and geopolitical role.

Minister Sikorski also conducted bilateral discussions with Norway’s Foreign Affairs Minister Espen Barth Eide and Iceland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Þórdís Kolbrún R. Gylfadóttir during his visit to Finland.

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