Ambassador Mikola Baltaji: Today Bulgaria and Ukraine are united by common goals and values and agree on nearly all issues on the international agenda9 February 2018 | 17:46 | FOCUS News Agency
“We can be satisfied with the level and quality of Ukrainian-Bulgarian relations – from the political dialogue, through the economic, scientific and technical cooperation, to the humanitarian field, the protection of the rights of national minorities, interpersonal and regional relations, etc. I am glad to say that Bulgaria is a good friend. Like 100 years ago, today Bulgaria supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the sanctions amid the war we have with Russia, and does not recognise the occupation of Crimea,” he said, adding that Bulgaria supports fully and from the very beginning the European integration of Ukraine, the introduction of the visa-free regime and the free trade area.
“I think that Bulgaria needs Ukraine as a friend and knows that it is a stable and predictable partner. So the two countries are united by common goals, common European values, and we see this as a solid basis for a good understanding and joint resolution of the problems and challenges we are currently facing. We have good cooperation under the European Union and NATO. Now we hope for and count on support for the Ukrainian file – the priorities for cooperation between Ukraine and the EU – during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as for the Eastern Partnership initiative. Here we have a wide range of issues, from political dialogue, security, defence, commercial and economic cooperation, digital economy, financial aid, justice, freedom, energy and transport to research, innovation and education. In the context of the Bulgarian presidency, we are working on this with Bulgaria which is currently leading Europe. We also work with other EU member states, relying heavily on their support in the light of the continuing military aggression against Ukraine. We hope to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, to have the UN peacekeeping operation in Donbass and get support for the Ukrainian president’s initiative to form an international platform of friends of Ukraine who are against the occupation of Crimea,” the ambassador said.
He pointed out bilateral cooperation in economy, infrastructure, energy, trade, tourism and education. “As a real friend of Ukraine, Bulgaria has also contributed to the rehabilitation of the wounded Ukrainian soldiers and children, victims of the Russian military aggression. In recent years, 75 Ukrainian soldiers and hundreds of children had successful rehabilitation in Bulgaria, for which we are deeply grateful to our Bulgarian friends. This great contribution will not only be individually remembered but is also a good sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” the ambassador said.
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