Bulgaria preparing to send humanitarian aid to conflict zones in Ukraine – government

Bulgaria is preparing to send humanitarian aid to regions affected by the military conflict in Ukraine, the government said on February 11.

Currently, the dispatch of humanitarian aid to people living in areas where military actions are carried out is being organised in co-operation with the Bulgarian Red Cross, a statement said.

At a scheduled meeting on February 11, the cabinet appointed a new consul-general in Odessa.

The region he will be responsible for is the largest Bulgarian diaspora in the world – about 200 000 people, 6000 of which are from the most conflict-affected areas, the statement said.

The cabinet named Dimitar Tuchkov, who previously held the post from 2004 to 2007 and who has been an adviser on trade and economic issues at the Bulgarian embassy in Kyiv, as consul-general in Odessa.

“The changed situation in the context of the crisis in Ukraine and the need for successful implementation of multiple and complex functions of the consulate-general in Odessa involve the appointment of a consul-general with appropriate training and experience,” a government statement said, announcing that Stoyan Gorchivkin, the incumbent, was being released from the post.

On February 11, Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov dismissed “any talk that the Bulgarian state has not paid attention to our fellow countrymen in Ukraine”.

Mitov was responding to domestic political criticism on the issue of ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine.

He said that the problems of the ethnic Bulgarians, especially those linked to the latest mobilisation in Ukraine, had been raised at various levels, including before the Council of the European Union.

The issue was due to be discussed during a forthcoming visit to Bulgaria by Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed the Bulgarian embassy in Kyiv and the consulate general in Odessa to speed up and simplify visa issuance to people of ethnic Bulgarian origin, the government said, repeating an announcement it made a day earlier.



The Sofia Globe staff

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