Ukraine and Bulgaria have no disagreements over the rights of Bulgarian communities in the country, but today representatives of Kiev have assured Sofia that the division of the Bolgrad region into Odessa region will not affect the minority.
This message is contained in the new position of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, published a few hours ago, as well as on the institution’s Facebook page.
According to the announcement, the issue was discussed at a meeting today between the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasil Bodnar and the Ambassador of Bulgaria Kostadin Kojabashev. It is about the decision to divide the population mainly with Bulgarians in the Bolgrad region, which led to a protest by politicians from the Bulgarian community in the region and a declaration by parliament in Sofia prompting Ukraine on Wednesday to accuse Bulgaria of interfering in its internal affairs.
“Reform does not affect rights”
Around the time of the publication of the first Ukrainian position, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said that Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva had talked with her counterpart Dmitry Kuleba and that he had committed the Bolgrad region not to divide, but for the two sides to seek a mutually acceptable solution.
Today’s Ukrainian position, however, states: “The Foreign Ministry assured the Bulgarian ambassador that the administrative-territorial reform does not affect the level of ensuring the rights of the Bulgarian community in the Odessa region.” There will be an “open and constructive” dialogue on the issue, even at the “inter-parliamentary level”.
“Diplomats always find a common language. There is no disagreement between Ukraine and Bulgaria on guaranteeing the rights of the Bulgarian community in Ukraine,” Bodnar was quoted as saying. Ambassador Kojabashev stressed the importance of the national, cultural and linguistic identity of Bulgarians in Ukraine.
The same statement said that the meeting was attended by Tatiana Plachkova (MP from the party “Opposition Platform – Life” of the alleged close to the Kremlin and the godfather of President Vladimir Putin Viktor Medvedchuk).
According to Bessarabia, a day earlier, Plachkova had met with representatives of the Bulgarian community in the Bolgrad region, along with Vitaly Bezgin of President Vladimir Zelenski’s Servant of the People party. He and Plachkova are part of the parliamentary committee on local self-government in Ukraine. At the meeting, the hosts in Bolgrad expressed the opinion that the problem was artificially created.
At the meeting, Plachkova expressed support for the formation of five territorial units in the Bolgrad region, but demanded that Bolgrad be preserved as an administrative center. Ambassador Kojabashev understood the arguments of the Ukrainian side, but inquired about the possibility of preserving the integrity of the Bolgrad region as a guarantee for the protection of the authenticity of the diaspora.