On 7 November 2022, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov hosted the annual meeting of the CEI Foreign Ministers in Sofia. Supporting Ukraine in the ongoing Russian aggression against it; mitigating the impact the war is having across the region, on its citizens and economies; furthering European integration and diversification of energy supplies, were among the topics analysed and discussed, especially with regard to the recent escalation in Ukraine, witnessing attacks to cities and civilian infrastructures.

The Ministers underlined the CEI’s valuable role in fostering constructive regional cooperation among its Member States and its concrete actions. They noted that this role had become even more vital in view of the pressing international challenges; and that it would be of particular importance also in rebuilding Ukraine and in the European integration process. 

The Ministers identified coordination, solidarity and unity as the answers to the pressing issues. This and other important messages were sent and incorporated into their Joint Statement adopted at the end of the gathering.

Amb. Pigliapoco, Head of the AII Permanent Secretariat was invited to attend and in his statement highlighted four main points:

  • AII TRIO-Presidency Joint Statement condemning in the strongest terms the military invasion of Ukraine from the Russian Federation;
  • Speeding up the EU integration process of the Western Balkan countries;
  • The Bosnia and Herzegovina Chairmanship of the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative (June 2022-May 2023);
  • Fruitful cooperation with the Central European Initiative.