PANAMA CITY: Two blocs of Central American and Caribbean countries condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine and warned Tuesday (May 3) of the conflict’s impact on the region, after meetings between diplomats and a high-ranking European Union representative.
More than a dozen foreign ministers met in Panama Monday and Tuesday to discuss global issues affecting the region, such as the fallout from the invasion of Ukraine, economic conditions and the ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community bloc, which represents the majority of the Caribbean, Belizean Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay said in a press conference: “We demand the cessation of hostilities related to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. “
Panamanian Foreign Minister Erika Mouynes said the Central American Integration System, of which all countries in the region are members, “strongly condemns” Russia’s use of force and violence.
Foreign ministers from 18 countries attended the announcement on Tuesday. Nicaragua’s foreign minister was not present, diplomatic sources told Reuters. The country has defended the Russian attack.
Mouynes also said the region is building a social and political framework to deal with threats such as rising fuel and food prices.
The condemnation of Russia comes during a visit to Panama City by Josep Borrell, the top diplomat of the European Union, who chairs the meetings of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. Borrell said Tuesday he was “grateful” for the two blocs’ positions in Central America and the Caribbean.
The day before, Borrell said the EU hoped to implement a sixth round of sanctions against Russia at the next Foreign Affairs Council meeting.