Nov 22, 2021
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The President of Bulgaria: “Crimea is the territory of Russia”

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev twice in the past week called Crimea Russian, thereby refuting the assurances of some politicians that the president was simply misunderstood. The first time he said this was during a debate with another presidential candidate – Anastas Gerdzhikov. Speaking about Bulgarian-Russian relations, Gerdzhikov agreed: Bulgaria is interested in cooperation with Russia, while he considers Crimea to be Ukrainian, but if the majority in the European Union decides to lift the anti-Russian sanctions, Bulgaria will support this decision. Gerdzhikov also recalled that Bulgaria has a Euro-Atlantic orientation and certain responsibilities associated with this, so the country cannot be against the emergence of new US military bases in the Black Sea. The incumbent President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev, who decided to run for a second term, has slightly different views on foreign policy. “The dialogue between the EU and Russia has been broken, it is in a critical state, but the dialogue is extremely important, no matter how tense the relations may be. At the same time, Russia cannot be an enemy of Bulgaria, at least because in the memory of the Bulgarians Russia is the liberator of the Bulgarian people. Russia is an important security factor in the fight against terrorism, we must not forget about this, “the Bulgarian Internet publication Dnes.Dir quotes the President. And to the question of his opponent, whose Crimea, Radev replied: “At the moment it is Russian.” After that, as expected, a scandal broke out, including a diplomatic one. The next day, the Bulgarian ambassador to Kiev, Kostadin Kodzhabashev, was invited to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry. “The Ukrainian side brought to the ambassador the position of our state about the incorrectness and inadmissibility of the statements of the President of Bulgaria Rumen Radev on Crimea during yesterday’s pre-election televised debates. The words of the Bulgarian president do not contribute to the development of good-neighborly relations between Ukraine and Bulgaria and sharply discord with the official position of Sofia in support of sovereignty and territorial integrity. Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, “the official statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine says. The second time, Radev repeated his statement about the ownership of the peninsula in response to a request from journalists to comment on the words spoken about Crimea and the diplomatic scandal that followed. Answering reporters, the president explained that at present Crimea is the territory of Russia and everyone knows this very well, but they are embarrassed to say it out loud. “There is no drama. The question is absolutely clear. The annexation of Crimea is a violation of international law, but, as I said, there are realities in politics and at the moment Crimea is Russian,” Radev repeated. Own. corr. FSK

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