At today’s summit in Bucharest, Victor Yushchenko said a united Europe was a strategic target that "determines regional initiatives based on common values and aspirations", according to the President’s press-office.

The Head of State opined that the spectrum of challenges facing the Black Sea countries “has considerably expanded.”

When speaking about the European Union’s further enlargement, he said: “We are interested to carry out policies enabling the Black Sea states, which are slowly but surely approaching European standards, to integrate with EU.”

Mr. Yushchenko stated that stability and security were the paramount priorities of regional cooperation but admitted that it was impeded by ‘frozen’ conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

The President said the region’s multidirectional development would be impossible without economic cooperation.

“Democracy, security and stability boost investment and modern technologies,” he said.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said the Black Sea Forum would be open to other countries sharing and supporting its principles and ideas. He added that the states should elaborate and present a Black Sea Charter.

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said the Black Sea states should focus on factors that help them consolidate. 

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev opined that the forum was a good occasion to reevaluate future prospects of developing cooperation in the region. He said Azerbaijan actively participated in transportation projects contributing to regional cooperation. 

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin said “the forum can and should become a place to develop effective transnational mechanisms of effective cooperation.”

The Heads of State agreed to develop regional cooperation. They also discussed ways to settle `frozen` conflicts. Then the leaders signed a Joint Declaration.