Plevneliev and Gauck: EU must loudly speak out on Ukrainian crisis

Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck agree that the European Union must loudly voice its opinion on the Ukrainian crisis, according to a press statement by the Bulgarian head of state’s office during his two-day visit to Berlin.

Plevneliev also told a news conference that from a historical point of view, Europe had entered a new phrase, “before and after Crimea” – a reference to Russia’s illegal annexation of part of Ukraine – and he said that the consequences of Russia violating international laws would be felt for a long time to come.

Speaking on May 9, celebrated in the European Union as Europe Day, Plevneliev expressed his conviction that the people of Ukraine would choose the path of European and democratic development.

“I could not imagine that this road will be forbidden to them only on account of their geographical location…that if you are a neighbour of Russia or in its sphere of interest, this means that you cannot join the EU even if your people want this,” Plevneliev said.

After his talks with Gauck on May 8, Plevneliev said that the events unfolding in Ukraine are on the agenda of all European institutions.

“We share the concern about Russia’s policy and the view that today everyone in Europe should pool efforts to restore the basic fundamentals of the foreign policy of the post World War 2 period and the fundamentals of the European order whereby everyone should respect the rule of law and stick to the rules.

“The borders in Europe cannot be unilaterally changed by force. The events that took place in Crimea are unacceptable and we must clearly voice our position,” Plevneliev said.

He and Gauck agreed that a further destabilisation of Ukraine may lead to a wider destabilisation, the press statement by the Bulgarian President’s office said.

During the talks, Plevneliev highlighted the importance of the policy of EU enlargement in the context of the Ukrainian crisis and particularly that of the EU integration of the Western Balkan countries, which Bulgaria firmly supports, the statement said.

As for the upcoming elections for European Parliament, which will also decide who the President of the future European Commission will be, the two presidents voiced their hope that conducting a high-quality debate will make possible the nomination of competent and strong representatives in the European Parliament.

“We would like to see an integrated and strong European Union. The solutions does not lie in destabilisation, isolation and a periphery vs Great Powers play, the solution lies in supporting and strengthening the three engines of the European Union – democracy, market economy and integration,” Plevneliev said.




The Sofia Globe staff

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