Ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine welcome in Bulgaria – PM Borissov

Ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine are welcome in Bulgaria, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on February 8.

A day earlier, local media in Sofia reported that dozens of ethnic Bulgarians had died because of the crisis in Ukraine.

Local television station BTV said that military personnel were massing in the historic Bessarabia region in order to cut off the area, where there have been media reports of a large-scale refusal of ethnic Bulgarians and Gagauz people to be mobilised.

Borissov said that Bulgaria would meet its commitments to the Euro-Atlantic Pact and supported a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.

He said that the situation was extremely worrying. “When the French president speaks about war and when the situation has worsened so much, the signals are very worrying. I am highly concerned about what is happening,” Borissov said.

Estimates, based on official figures in recent decades, is that there are just more than 200 000 ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine. Figures from 2001 indicated that about three-quarters of ethnic Bulgarians lived in the Odessa region.

Borissov told Parliament during question time on February 4 that he had told officials to prepare an analysis regarding ethnic Bulgarians wanting to come to Bulgaria from Ukraine.

Media reports earlier said that associations representing ethnic Bulgarians had sent a petition to the President, Prime Minister and other senior office-bearers asking for the speeding of the issuing of Bulgarian citizenship to ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine.



The Sofia Globe staff

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