The second ministerial discussion of the day was titled “Assuring Security in the Black Sea Region: Solutions to Strengthen It”. Bogdan Lucian Aurescu (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania) and Dmytro Kuleba (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine) participated in the discussion which was moderated by Vera Kobalia (Founder of Kobalia Consulting and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia 2010-2012).
The first topic of discussion was the impact of the Moldovan elections on the region. Bogdan Aurescu congratulated Maia Sandu for what he referred to as “a victory for democracy”. Dmytro Kuleba also sent President-elect Sandu his congratulations for her victory and stressed the importance of strategic cooperation between Ukraine and Moldova.
Both ministers were then asked about Russia’s role in the Black Sea region since its annexation and what NATO should be doing to counteract increased Russian military presence in the area. Aurescu emphasized that the Black Sea has become a key priority for NATO, however he stressed the need for more action from the Alliance, such as surveillance of Russian military activities and closer cooperation with Georgia. Kuleba provided an update regarding the possibility of Ukraine becoming a NATO member state and stated that NATO needs to assert its power in the Black Sea.
The session proceeded to address Turkey’s role, Ukraine-Russia relations and what the ministers expect from a Biden administration.