Ukraine crisis shows importance of European integration, Bulgarian President says

The situation in Ukraine shows the importance of the European integration process for Europe and the world, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev told the National Assembly in Sofia on March 14 2014.

He was speaking two days ahead of a planned referendum in Crimea on secession from Ukraine and accession to Russia, a move by leaders in the autonomous region that has been rejected widely in the democratic world.

“Bulgaria should contribute to the development of integration and peace. Bulgaria is an important factor in the region,” Plevneliev told Parliament.

The people of Ukraine alone had the right to decide their future by conducting fair elections, he said.

The European Union and the United States were relying on diplomacy, while Russia had responded with tanks and occupation of Crimea – the approach of the communist state – and it was possible that Russia would base an unlawful annexation of Crimea on the planned March 16 referendum.

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