Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry recommended on February 24 that the country’s citizens not visit Russia, but if they urgently had to, to avoid regions bordering Ukraine.
The call was issued against the background of the invasion that began early in the morning of Ukraine by Russian military forces acting on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The fact that Russian forces were mounting a multi-pronged attack on Ukraine via air, land sea, along with the closure of Ukrainian air space, complicated efforts to evacuate Bulgarians from Ukraine.
On the afternoon of February 24, the Foreign Ministry said that shortly after 2pm, more than 300 Bulgarian citizens had sought be evacuated, and calls to the ministry’s situation centre and Bulgaria’s two diplomatic missions in Ukraine were mounting.
The ministry said that given some border checkpoints in a Russian-occupied part of Moldova and in Ukraine were closed, it recommended that Bulgarian citizens in southern Ukraine headed to Moldova through four checkpoints that it listed on its website.
It recommended that Bulgarian citizens in northern and western Ukraine head to the border crossings with Romania.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters on the afternoon of February 24 that the Foreign Ministry and Transport Ministry had set up working groups to monitor possible border evacuation points, as well as the possibility of accommodation in hotels.
Petkov and President Roumen Radev have strongly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the afternoon, the National Assembly interrupted its debate on the second reading of Budget 2022 to overwhelmingly approve a declaration expressing its condemnation of the invasion.
(Photo: Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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