Declaration in Bulgaria’s Parliament condemns Putin over actions against Ukraine

A joint declaration in Bulgaria’s National Assembly on February 22 by three of the governing majority partners condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin for recognising the self-proclaimed “independent” regions in eastern Ukraine.

The declaration, by the We Continue the Change, ITN and Democratic Bulgaria parliamentary groups, followed a statement of condemnation on the night of February 21 by Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, in the hours after Putin was shown signing documents recognising the two Donbas republics as “independent”.

The joint statement by the three parties, read by Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Hristo Ivanov, said: “Bulgaria unreservedly supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders.

“We are concerned about President Putin’s statements in his speech, which call into question the very existence of Ukraine as an independent state.”

The declaration said that Bulgaria would insist that the EU and Nato continue to strongly defend the principles of international law.

“Bulgaria will support the planned sanctions of the European Union against Russia in coordination with the United States and the United Kingdom. Such a decision must be made by EU foreign ministers,” the declaration said.

“We continue to follow with concern what is happening in eastern Ukraine, and we hope that dialogue and diplomacy will be able to prevent further escalation of the conflict,” it said.

In a separate declaration, read earlier in the day to reporters, the fourth partner in the ruling majority, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), expressed “strong concern over recent developments in the conflict in eastern Ukraine”.

“The recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics by the Russian Federation can be seen as a violation of international law. With this step, conflict in the region is entering a new, unpredictable phase,” said the BSP declaration, read by Kristian Vigenin.

“We insist on the priority goal of preserving the life, health and well-being of the civilian population in both regions and call for an end to all armed provocations,” the BSP said.

“We believe that the time of diplomacy is not over and we expect all countries to refrain from military escalation and to invest efforts to achieve lasting mutually acceptable solutions,” said the BSP declaration, which called for direct negotiations under the auspices of the UN “to begin a real process of resolving the conflict in accordance with the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations”.

In the National Assembly, GERB-UDF MP Daniel Mitov said that Parliament should adopt a joint declaration condemning the gross violation of international law by Russia and the serious encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Mitov said that GERB-UDF would propose a text of a joint declaration for the National Assembly to adopt.

On the morning of February 22, in a message on Twitter, Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said: “The recognition of the so-called DPR and LPR by the Russian federation dooms the efforts for de-escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and leads to rising tension throughout the whole region.

“Sustainable solution to this crisis cannot be found through violation of international law and by military means,” Radev said.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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