European presidents denounce Moscow's annexation of Ukrainian territory

The heads of the nine countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Central and Eastern Europe denounced Russia's annexation of four occupied Ukrainian regions, describing it as illegitimate.

"We reaffirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," he said in a joint statement on Sunday.

We do not and will never recognize Russian attempts to annex any of the Ukrainian territory.”

The statement was signed by the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Slovakia.

"We support Ukraine in its defense against Russian interference, we demand that Russia immediately withdraw from all occupied territories, and we encourage all NATO allies to significantly increase their military support to Ukraine... All those who commit crimes of aggression must be held accountable and brought to justice," the presidents wrote.

The nine heads of state also indicated support for Ukraine's desire to join NATO.

“We strongly support the decision of the NATO Summit, held in Budapest in 2008, regarding the future membership of Ukraine,” they wrote.

At that time, Ukraine was offered the possibility of joining the defense alliance at a later date.”

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