site.btaUPDATED Parliament Chair Zhelyazkov to Ukrainian Counterpart Stefanchuk: Bulgaria Will Keep Supporting Ukraine

Parliament Chair Zhelyazkov to Ukrainian Counterpart Stefanchuk: Bulgaria Will Keep Supporting Ukraine
Parliament Chair Zhelyazkov to Ukrainian Counterpart Stefanchuk: Bulgaria Will Keep Supporting Ukraine
National Assembly Chairman Rossen Zhelyazkov (left) and Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk, Prague, April 24, 2023 (BTA Photo)

Bulgaria will continue to firmly support Ukraine with all instruments at its disposal, National Assembly Chairman Rossen Zhelyazkov said at a meeting with Verkhovna Rada Chairman Ruslan Stefanchuk here on Monday. The two talked within the Conference of Speakers of the European Union Parliaments (EUSC) in Prague, the Bulgarian National Assembly's press centre reported. 

Bulgaria firmly condemns the unprovoked and ungrounded aggression of Russia against a sovereign and independent Ukraine, Zhelyazkov also said.  Russia's war against Ukraine significantly undermines Europe's security as a whole and the Black Sea countries' security in particular, he added. 

Thus far, the EU's response to Russia's aggression has been firm and unified despite requiring many sacrifices, and the burden has fallen on European citizens, Zhelyazkov went on to say.  "Nevertheless, we are facing the bigger responsibility of keeping the international order based on rules that guarantee our security and stability," he noted.

Zhelyazkov told his Ukrainian counterpart that Bulgaria supports Ukraine's European and Euro-Atlantic perspective. "We share the position that Russia's aggression and crimes should be condemned with the full severity of international law, and all war crimes should be investigated," the Bulgarian Parliament Chairman said. 

Stefanchuk expressed gratitude for Bulgaria's consistent position and support for Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration, as evidenced by the Bulgarian National Assembly's decision of last year to provide military and military-technical assistance to Ukraine as well as the decision of February 2023 to recognize the Holodomor as genocide. Stefanchuk also expressed his people's gratitude for the help Bulgaria is providing in this difficult moment. 

Zhelyazkov said that Bulgaria will continue to support Ukraine with economic and financial aid, political support for that country's international initiatives, and restrictive measures, but with an increased attention to the unfavourable consequences for Bulgaria's critical sectors. Bulgaria will continue insisting on just and lasting peace in a war that Ukraine has not started and in a way that will preserve the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. "Together with our support for Ukraine, we should increase the efforts to handle the war's consequences, particularly for the most vulnerable countries and for those who are strategical important for us," the National Assembly Chairman said.

Zhelyazkov is in Prague for the Conference of EUSC, a concluding forum for the parliamentary dimension of the Czech EU Presidency. The first session was on Russian aggression against Ukraine and the EU's response in a wide geopolitical context (EU enlargement, energy security, post-was recovery).  

Zhelyzkov told the forum that one of Bulgaria's main priorities is to join Schengen by the end of 2023, and that his country greatly appreciates the European Parliament's support on this topic. Entry in the Schengen area will contribute to the security and unity in the EU and will benefit Bulgarian citizens and businesses. "We are working in close cooperation with Romania, and we share the view that the two countries should join Schengen simultaneously, because they are following one and the same procedure and criteria, he added.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said that the EP supports unconditionally Bulgaria's Schengen membership, because the country has met all entry criteria.

The Bulgarian National Assembly Chairman said that his country relies on the support of the European Commission and partners for strengthening the Bulgarian-Turkish border. "We believe that the security of this border is of great importance for all European countries and their citizens," he added.

Zhelyakov once again underscored before Metsola that Bulgaria is actively committed to the international community's efforts to stop the Russian aggression against Ukraine. In his words, supporting Ukraine means supporting an international legal order that is democratic and based on rules, upholding European values, the sovereign right of every country to determine on its own the path of its development and its geopolitical orientation.




By 07:45 on 29.09.2023 Today`s news

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