Ukrainian Ambassador Expects No Wave of Refugees to Bulgaria

Diplomacy | February 23, 2015, Monday // 13:53|  views

Ukrainian ambassador to Bulgaria Mykola Baltazhy, File photo

The Ukrainian ambassador to Sofia Mykola Baltazhy stated on Monday that a large wave of refugees fleeing the conflict in his country was not expected to reach Bulgaria.

Baltazhy said in an interview for the Bulgarian National Televesion (BNT) that the conflict in Ukraine threatens not only Bulgaria, but all of Ukraine's neighbours, Europe and Russia.

His Excellency pointed to the hybrid war that was waged by Russia in Ukraine, which was heading towards a dead end.

The Ukrainian ambassador accused Russia of not only being responsible for the illegal annexation of Crimea, but also for perpetrating crimes with the help of terrorist groups outside the conflict zones.

In his opinion, Bulgaria was enjoying calmness due to the protection of NATO.

Baltazhy expressed understanding for the division within the Bulgarian society due to the country's close ties with Russia.

He pointed to the statements of nationalist Ataka party's leader Volen Siderov and his recent visit to Crimea as attempts to portray NATO in a negative light.

As regarding the peacekeeping mission requested by Ukraine, Baltazhy said that this will be an effective mechanism for regulation of the crisis.

He added that it will be most acceptable to Ukraine if the peacekeepers were recruited from EU member states.

According to him, the Minsk ceasefire agreement was an opportunity for restoring the territorial integrity of Ukraine and returning to peaceful existence of its inhabitants, but violations remained.

Baltazhy said that a small hope still existed if the next steps of the ceasefire were implemented - exchange of captives and withdrawal of heavy weapons.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Ukraine, ambassador, Mykola Baltazhy, refugees, Russia, NATO, EU, peacekeeping mission, annexaton, Crimea, Minsk, ceasefire


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