Bulgaria sends buses to Ukraine to fetch evacuees, prepares to receive refugees

Four buses are on their way to Kyiv to fetch Bulgarians who want to leave the Ukrainian capital city, Mitko Dimitrov, head of communications at Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, told Bulgarian National Radio on February 24.

Dimitrov said that just more than 300 Bulgarians had said that they wanted to leave Kyiv.

The buses, organised jointly by the foreign and transport ministries, were approaching the Ukrainian border, he said.

Three buses with 130 Bulgarians were expected to leave Odessa.

“With all the available resources, I hope that we will be able to get our Bulgarian citizens out of Ukraine.”

It would be known later today how many more buses would be able to leave for Ukraine, Dimitrov said.

Svetoslav Ivanov, Bulgaria’s consul general in Odessa, told Nova Televizia on February 24 that there were many calls from Ukrainian citizens who want to evacuate to Bulgaria.

“I am sending a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sofia to ask for instructions on whether to take them as well. This is a humanitarian mission, we must resolve this issue as well,” Ivanov said.

He said that there were problems with refuelling. There is no money in the banks. The shops are empty because people are stockpiling, he said.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that all EU member states close to the conflict zone are preparing to receive Ukrainian citizens who wish to leave the country temporarily.

“We cannot even imagine what it is like for families leaving their homes in search of salvation, but we can lend a hand and provide them with shelter and security,” Petkov said.

Bulgaria would fulfil its duty, especially to the Bulgarian minority in Ukraine, he said.

(Photo of Petkov: government.bg)

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