Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Bulgarian ambassador in Kyiv on November 19 to tell him of the “incorrectness and unacceptability” of Bulgarian President Roumen Radev’s statement during a televised election debate that Crimea was Russian, the ministry said.
Radev’s statement came during the live television debate on public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television on the night of November 18, three days before the run-off election in which Radev is seeking a second term, while being challenged by GERB-backed Anastas Gerdzhikov.
Gerdzhikov said that Crimea was Ukrainian.
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministy said that Bulgarian ambassador Kostadin Kodzhabashev had been told that “the words of the current Bulgarian president do not contribute to the development of good neighbourly relations between Ukraine and Bulgaria and are sharply dissonant with Sofia’s official position on supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders”.
“We expect Bulgarian President Roumen Radev to refute his yesterday’s statement,” the ministry said.
The statement said that Kodzhabashev had given an assurance of Bulgaria’s unwavering support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, Crimea’s status as an integral part of Ukrainian territory, and efforts to de-occupy the peninsula, in particular through Bulgaria’s participation in the Crimea Platform.
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