The Ukrainian Ambassador: We expect Bulgaria to Strongly Support our EU Membership
“The Bulgarian government, as far as we all know, maintains the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. As well as the recognition of Ukraine within the international borders…of NATO and the EU. Look, in this regard, I would like to say one such thing - true friends of Ukraine sees our country not through the prism of the Russian Federation, but as a self-sufficient, democratic and independent state, which has its own ambitions and intentions to be a full member of the European community, as well as the Euro-Atlantic community. I think that Bulgaria's position is for full support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and independence,” said Vitalij Moskalenko, Ukraine's Ambassador to Bulgaria during an interview for Nova TV.
“There are thousands of Bulgarian historical diaspora in our country, living on the territory of Ukraine in Bessarabia, in Tavria, in Donbass. There are Bulgarians living everywhere in Ukraine. And they are loyal citizens and patriots of their Ukrainian homeland,” the ambassador stressed. He added: “Regarding Bulgaria, in practical terms, we would like to receive support in the following areas. For example - our president has initiated the signing of the presidents of European countries the so-called ‘Declaration on European Integration’. In recognition of Ukraine's desire to be integrated into the EU as soon as possible and more effectively. And we have already signed a similar kind of declaration with 7 countries - Poland, the Baltic countries, less than a month ago Slovenia signed. One such declaration is also in Bulgaria. We are now discussing the text of such a declaration. And I think that this document can be signed between the two presidents. It is desirable as soon as possible.”
Regarding the escalation of tensions on Ukraine's borders, Moskalenko stressed that his country has been on the brink of war since last summer. “When Russia began to gather troops on Ukraine's border. If we have to be more precise. In fact, we have been living with Russia in a state of war since 2014. At least we, as a state and diplomats in Ukraine, are doing everything possible to prevent this possible hardening of the Russian Federation. And we have quite serious support from the international community - the United States, NATO, the EU.” He added: “Now this escalation or the possibility of a large-scale invasion of Ukraine has come to a critical point. Look how more than 120,000 Russian troops are concentrated on Ukraine's borders. Crimea, occupied and annexed, criminally by Putin's Russia. Crowded with weapons.”
According to Ambassador Moskalenko, Ukraine must be prepared in case of aggression and give a decent response. “And before that, do everything possible to prevent it, as I said before. There is international pressure. These are sanctions.”
He also listed the reasons for the escalation of tensions at the moment: “On the one hand, let's say the internal situation in Russia, the situation of Putin, of the Russian government. Economic difficulties. Political difficulties, falling ratings, Putin's falling rating, the destruction of the opposition. I would say that this is another aggravation of the imperial ambition of the Russian Federation, which is caused by the inability to bring order to its own territory and to manifest itself in some way in the international arena. It is also expressed in cyber-attacks and toxic propaganda that we hear from Russian stations and newspapers. Which is pouring in like slop from Russian and official, semi-official and even the few remaining opposition newspapers,” Moskalenko said.
Regarding Kiev's energy security, in case Moscow suspends gas supplies, the ambassador stressed: “Russia stopped them, if you remember, more than once. This is their constant strategy. And tactics. And not just for Ukraine, for the whole of Europe. Let's take a look at Nord Stream 2. This is a pure variant of energy weaponization, which is designed for effective use in the fight against the entire European continent. As well as South Stream and Turkish Stream and all those streams that were invented by Russia to bypass Ukraine and to politically influence their European so-called partners. If they stop the gas - then we will look for other options for getting the gas. From other countries - say from Azerbaijan. Liquefied gas can also be obtained from Poland and other possible options.”
Ambassador Moskalenko also commented on his country's desire for NATO membership. “During this war with Russia, which has been a formal and undeclared war since 2014, the number of Ukraine supporters in NATO is growing every year. According to the latest official polls, we have 64% of citizens who are strongly in favor of ‘Ukraine's accession to NATO’. Seeing this in principle as protection against Russia's aggressive policy and aggressive actions, and a certain kind of guarantee of stability. And this is not a so-called speculative goal. Because NATO is a bloc that defends the principles of democracy.”
Asked to what extent Ukraine relies on NATO's help and armaments in this situation, Moskalenko said: “There are such intentions to receive as many NATO armaments as possible. And the process is underway. For example, we have recently received enough light grenade launchers from Next Antiarmour Weapon for the destruction of tanks and armored personnel carriers. Another shipment from the United States arrived on the 25th of this month with relevant armed quantities, I mean systems like Jevelin for the destruction of tanks and low-flying targets. Most recently, there was a decision by the Czech government to supply 4,000 artillery shells. In fact, this process is ongoing and we hope it will be continued and increased.” He added: “I would not underestimate NATO assistance. Because this help is serious. And in case of aggression, the aggressor will be inflicted with… I would say - quite serious damage, which will make him stop his aggressive efforts due to the large number of losses.”
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