Bulgaria will Not Recognize the Referendums in Ukraine
The consequences for our national security of the escalation of the war in Ukraine were discussed at a consultative meeting called by President Rumen Radev. In the statement after the meeting, the head of state announced that Bulgaria will not recognize the referendums in Ukraine and reiterated that he denounces Russian aggression against Ukraine. "Bulgaria is among the most affected countries due to the consequences of the conflict", he added.
"The Russian president's decision on partial mobilization will increase the intensity of hostilities and has unpredictable consequences for security", President Rumen Radev said. And he defined as unacceptable the playing of the nuclear card by Russia.
On the occasion of the referendums that started today, the head of state said:
"Referendums in a combat zone, where shells fall next to the ballot boxes, are a legal absurdity and Bulgaria will not recognize them. Along with the escalation of the conflict, the risks for our region for Europe and for the world are also growing. Although there is currently no direct military threat to security of the country, these risks are assessed and measures are identified to minimize them".
Radev reminded that from the first day of the war he condemned the Russian military aggression in Ukraine and that, in his opinion, the conflict should be resolved through diplomacy. Bulgaria supports Europe's sanctions regime against Russia, but it is also among the most affected by the consequences of the conflict.
"What the government is doing is to prepare absolutely all systems that could be affected by the escalation of the conflict, so that we can ensure everything necessary for Bulgarian businesses and Bulgarian citizens to be safe during the autumn-winter season so that supplies of gas and crude oil and other goods will be guaranteed. And Bulgarian business and Bulgarian citizens will be secured," said Galab Donev, Acting Prime Minister.
The deputy foreign minister and our former ambassador to Ukraine Kostadin Kojabashev also pointed out that the results of the referendums in four Ukrainian regions will not be recognized by the international community and that they are another attempt to legitimize the Russian military invasion.
"The latest news from Moscow is, of course, not very pleasant. It speaks to an escalation of all our previous concerns and, combined with the nuclear rhetoric already being spoken, etc. 'referendums', these rather alarming developments reinforce the need to categorical and consistent support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine," he said.
Defense Minister Dimitar Stoyanov reiterated that there is a risk to national security: "The Bulgarian army is in constant combat readiness. That is, there is nothing extraordinary in the army. What we have done - we have strengthened surveillance in the eastern part of the country. Mobilization carries with it a risk for national security, but there is no threat of Bulgaria being directly involved in the conflict for now," Minister Stoyanov said.
Currently, there are no Russian citizens who have requested humanitarian or refugee status in our country.
"Yesterday I spoke with our ambassador in Moscow, Mr. Krastin. We do not have at this stage whether Bulgarian citizens residing in Russia would like to return. When it comes to Bulgarian citizens, regardless of whether they reside on the territory of Ukraine or Russia - of course, we will accept them back into the country," said Kojabashev.
The caretaker government is working on a mechanism by which we can accept Russian citizens who would possibly seek humanitarian or refugee status in our country after the announced partial mobilization, Kodzhabashev also explained.
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