The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned the Bulgarian Ambassador to Kiev Kostadin Kodzhabashev after the statement of the Bulgarian President Rumen Radev that Crimea is the territory of Russia. This was reported by the press service of the ministry on Friday, November 19.
The Ukrainian side informed the diplomat of its position and demanded to refute the words of the President of Bulgaria, according to the website of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
The department explained that such statements do not contribute to the development of good-neighborly relations between Ukraine and Bulgaria and, in particular, are at odds with the official position of Sofia.
In response, Kodzhabashev assured Bulgaria of the unchanged position of Bulgaria in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
According to Gazeta.Ru, the Bulgarian president also stressed that the sanctions against Russia on the Crimea issue “have not been producing any effect for several years, which is why the EU Council is looking for pragmatic approaches.”
On November 18, Radev made his statement on the ownership of Crimea by Russia on the air. He also noted that Russia cannot be the “enemy” of Bulgaria, since in the memory of the Bulgarians it is “the liberator of our people”.
On November 19, the senator from the Crimean region, a member of the international committee of the Federation Council Sergei Tsekov, in an interview with Izvestia, welcomed the words of the President of Bulgaria about the ownership of Crimea by Russia. According to the senator, the position of the Bulgarian leader is that of a healthy and mentally healthy person.
On the same day, Anatol Lieven, a senior researcher at the Quincy Institute for Responsible State Governance, said that the Russian government would not abandon Crimea, so the West should forget about the Crimean issue.
Crimea returned to Russia following the 2014 referendum. 96.77% of the region’s residents and 95.6% of the voters of Sevastopol voted for the accession. The procedure was carried out in accordance with international law. Meanwhile, Kiev considers the peninsula to be its territory. Moscow has repeatedly stated that the issue of the subject’s ownership is closed forever.