Bulgarian president criticises government’s claims of ‘balanced position’ on Ukraine

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has condemned the March 16 referendum in Crimea on accession to Russia as illegitimate – and subtly criticised the line taken by the Bulgarian government in claiming a “balanced position” on the Ukraine crisis.

The referendum, which has been rejected across the democratic world but which has been the cue for Russian president Vladimir Putin to move to annex Crimea to his country, could “completely change the balance of functioning of international law, not only for the Eastern Partnership countries, but also in a much broader, global context,” Plevneliev said.

Plevneliev said that the referendum was contrary to the Ukrainian constitution and international law. It was extremely dangerous, categorically unacceptable and he said that he condemned it and would continue to defend this position.

“A balanced position, all right, but not at the expense of a future disaster for the region and the world,” the Bulgarian head of state told reporters on March 17.

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