PM Denkov in Kyiv: Bulgaria condemns the aggressor, violations of international law, crimes against humanity

Bulgaria holds sacred international law, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said in Kyiv on February 26, speaking at a conference on the International Platform for the Release of Civilians Arbitrarily Detained by the Russian Federation.

“That means that we cannot accept, whether de jure or de facto, borders being changed by brute military force,” Denkov told the conference, which was attended by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets.

The conference was held in the context of Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula, and against the background of this past weekend’s second anniversary of Russia’s February 24 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

“Bulgaria condemns the aggressor, violations of international law, atrocities and crimes against humanity,” Denkov said.

He emphasised the steadfast conviction of the Bulgarian government and people that the law protects the internationally recognized borders from abusers.

“Bulgaria respects the Ukrainians who fight for their freedom, respects those who defend the European ideal of democracy and will not forget those who gave their lives for their sovereignty,” he said.

Over the past decade, there have been numerous condemnations in international bodies, strongly affirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity and rejecting Russia’s brutal actions in respect of this country as illegal, Denkov said.

“Let me cite just one example. On March 27 2014, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution supporting the territorial integrity of Ukraine and recognising Crime and Sevastopol as its integral parts.

“A hundred out of the 194 member states that voted did so in support of that resolution. I am proud to recall that among those 100 was the Republic of Bulgaria.”

There should be punishments for war crimes, Denkov said: “Bulgaria believes that Ukraine must have the benefit of the justice to which it is entitled by international law”.

“Bulgaria rejects actions that we have seen in Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine that are crimes against identity – denial of mother-tongue language rights, rewriting of history through monuments and textbooks, renaming of institutions, seizure of church properties and religious persecution.

“The occupier tries to occupy not just territory but minds,” Denkov said.

“Bulgaria stands with Ukraine, not because Ukraine is what stands between us and a potential avaricious invader, but because it is our moral obligation to do so,” he said.

“We believe that every child, in every country, has the right to be free from the trauma of war. To be raised by (the child’s) parents, not kidnapped in a foreign country and subjected to crimes against his ancestry, identity and history of his people,” Denkov said.

He noted the key role of the Peace Formula and Bulgaria’s active participation in it.

“Bulgaria stands by Ukraine and will do so as long as necessary,” Denkov said.

Denkov, who arrived by train in Kyiv on the morning of February 26, inspected the destruction wrought by Russian attacks, paid tribute to Ukraine’s defenders and held talks with Zelenskyy.

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