Bulgarian Parliament Speaker holds talks in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy

Bulgaria has provided military, humanitarian and political support to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian aggression and will continue to do so for as long as necessary, National Assembly Speaker Rossen Zhelyazkov said in talks in Kyiv with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Zhelyazkov is heading a delegation including the head of the National Assembly delegation to the Nato Parliamentary Assembly Daniel Mitov, the head of the parliamentary group of friendship with Ukraine Ivailo Mirchev and the head of the Bulgarian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Stanislav Anastasov.

From left: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Bulgarian National Assembly Speaker Rossen Zhelyazkov, and MPs Daniel Mitov and Ivailo Mirchev.

Zhelyazkov again emphasised that Bulgaria strongly condemns the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Bulgaria resolutely rejects relentless Russian terror and the destruction of Ukraine’s basic civilian infrastructure, he said, as quoted in a media statement posted on the parliamentary website.

He said that Russia must comply with its international obligations and unconditionally and immediately withdraw all its forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine.

Bulgaria has declared its full support for Zelenskys’s Peace Formula and unconditionally supports the guiding principle that only Ukraine has the sovereign right to determine when and how to engage in negotiations with the aggressor, Zhelyazkov said.

He emphasised that this principle is the best guarantee for the future peace which will strengthen European and global security based on the rules of the international order.

“It is of vital importance to unite our efforts to comply with the principles of the UN Charter of non-aggression and respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all countries,” Zhelyazkov said.

Zelenskyy told the Bulgarian delegation: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support you provide us – military-technical and humanitarian”.

“Any support from Bulgaria is important to us, we will never forget what your country is doing,” he said.

“We are grateful to the Bulgarian people and the government for the political support, in Bulgaria I personally made sure that the Bulgarians are on our side, on the side of peace,” Zelenskyy said, according to the media statement.

Zelenskyy said that that morning’s air raid alert – which resulted in Zhelyazkov and the Bulgarian delegation having to enter an air raid shelter – gave the MPs the opportunity to understand what the life of Ukrainian citizens is like.

“Constant missile attacks bring to the fore the need to provide adequate protection to our citizens in the coldest months of the year, when the targets of the attacks are objects of the energy infrastructure,” Zelenskyy said.

Bulgaria is among the strongest and most active supporters of the European integration of Ukraine and its Euro-Atlantic perspective, Zhelyazkov said.

He said that Bulgaria welcomed the European Council’s decision to start negotiations for Ukraine’s accession to the EU. This is a geopolitical choice that has our full support, Zhelyazkov said.

“We are convinced that Ukraine belongs to the European family,” he said.

The future of Ukraine is at the core of the European security architecture and within the framework of Nato, Zhelyazkov said.

An independent and sovereign Ukraine is of key importance for Euro-Atlantic security, he said, an expressed Bulgaria’s satisfaction with the signing of the Joint Declaration on the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine.

Bulgaria is deeply disturbed by the unprecedented military actions of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region and, in particular, by the growing militarization of the Crimean peninsula, he said.

Bulgaria does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea, Zhelyazkov said.

He noted that on January 11 2024, a trilateral memorandum was signed in Istanbul between Bulgaria, Romania and Türkiye on the establishment of a joint mine countermeasure mission (MCM Black Sea), a mission intended solely for humanitarian purposes and to countermine the threat of sea mines in the Black Sea, thus contributing to the safety of shipping in the Black Sea.

(Photos: parliament.bg)

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