Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: Protests to be held in Bulgaria’s capital

Protests are to be held on February 24 in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia against the invasion of Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

One protest is outside the Russian embassy in Sofia at 5pm, and another at the Soviet Army Monument in the centre of the city at 6pm.

The Soviet Army monument in Sofia. Photo: Ivan Ivanov

On February 24, efforts were being made to come up with a joint declaration in the National Assembly, supported by all seven parliamentary groups, against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Andrei Gyurov, parliamentary leader of the We Continue the Change group – the largest in Bulgaria’s National Assembly, said: “We will show unity of the institutions, most likely there will be an extraordinary sitting of Parliament to hear the services and the Cabinet.

“We have formed a contact group of all parliamentary groups and we have a common position that we will issue a declaration,” Gyurov said.

Hristo Ivanov, co-leader of the Democratic Bulgaria coalition, said: “Today we are in a changed situation.

“Against the background that this is really a war, and this war is not a war between two countries – Russia and Ukraine. This war is a war in which a dictator is trying by all means, including bombing against civilian cities, to revise the post-war order,” Ivanov said.

“In the face of this threat, we must consolidate Bulgarian statehood at a new level of national responsibility,” he said.

Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, speaking after a special meeting of the Cabinet on the situation in Ukraine, reiterated that the Bulgarian government strongly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

Petkov is to participate in a special European Council meeting in Brussels on the evening of February 24, at which it is expected stronger sanctions against Russia will be adopted.

He said that at the moment, there is no threat to Bulgaria, but nevertheless, the Bulgarian government has prepared an action plan to ensure energy security, cyber security, stocktaking and other measures.

Bulgarian citizens can rest assured that we are working very quickly, he said.

Currently, three checkpoints are being opened, through which Bulgarian citizens from Ukraine will be able to be evacuated.

So far, about 200 people have expressed a desire to evacuate, Petkov said.

The Bulgarian government has provided ground transportation and clear procedures for the rapid transportation of willing Bulgarians and Ukrainians to the country, he said.

Separately, the Foreign Ministry said that so far, about 102 Bulgarian citizens have expressed a desire to be evacuated from Ukraine. A land evacuation is expected to begin.

Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska ordered diplomats from Bulgaria’s missions in Poland, Romania and Moldova to go to the border checkpoints and assist Bulgarians who want to leave Ukraine.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in constant coordination with the diplomatic missions of our partners and allies,” the ministry said.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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