Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev reaffirmed the country’s support for Ukraine’s European future during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in Sofia on Thursday.

Poroshenko is paying a one-day official visit to Bulgaria, the first by a Ukrainian head of state in 15 years.

Bulgaria welcomes the reforms in key areas of Ukraine’s social and political life including the constitutional reform and efforts in the fight against corruption, Plevneliev said at the meeting with Poroshenko, according to a statement issued by the President’s Office in Sofia.

Bulgaria supports the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine and international efforts to resolve the crisis in eastern Ukraine by diplomatic means, Plevneliev said at a joint press conference with Poroshenko.

“Bulgaria does not recognize the results of the referendum organized by the self-proclaimed authorities in Donetsk and Lugansk. The need for full implementation of the commitments of all parties to the conflict under the Minsk arrangements remains without alternative,” Plevneliev said, according to the statement.

“We do not recognize and will never recognize the illegal occupation and annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation. I have said many times: for us, Crimea is Ukraine and Ukraine is Europe,” Plevneliev added.

The two presidents agreed that the crisis in Ukraine continues to generate threats not only to the Black Sea region but also on a global scale.

Bulgaria appreciates the importance of Ukraine as a partner nation of NATO, as well intensified dialogue within the NATO-Ukraine Commission, Plevneliev said. NATO defence ministers had agreedto increase support for Ukraine through a comprehensive package of assistance measureswhich is expected to be approved at the Aliiance’s summit in Warsaw next month, Plevneliev added.

 

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