"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly protests against the adoption on May 20, 2020 by the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria of a declaration on administrative and territorial reform in Ukraine and the protection of the rights and integrity of the Bulgarian community," the statement said.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry emphasized that the issue of administrative and territorial organization belongs to the exclusive competence of the Ukrainian authorities, whereas attempts by a foreign state to interfere in internal affairs are absolutely unacceptable.
"Manipulative unreliable allegations about the impact of the reform on the national identity of ethnic Bulgarians in Ukraine are surprising and incomprehensible. We emphasize that protecting the rights and freedoms of representatives of all national minorities of our state, including the Bulgarian minority, is one of the fundamental priorities of the Ukrainian authorities and is carried out in strict accordance with the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995)," the ministry said.
It recalled that the Ukrainian side had repeatedly proved its openness and readiness to promote the development of the national identity of Ukrainian citizens of ethnic Bulgarian origin. The rights of national minorities in Ukraine are enshrined in national legislation and are strictly protected by the state in accordance with the latest European practices.
"The issue of Bolhrad district will be resolved in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, taking into account the position of local residents, including a large Bulgarian community. We believe that any issues can be resolved through a constructive dialogue, which is happening at the level of the foreign ministers of the two countries," the statement reads.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry also called on Bulgarian lawmakers to act in accordance with the principles of friendship and good neighborliness that traditionally exist between Ukraine and Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian parliament adopted a declaration on administrative and territorial reform in Ukraine and the protection of the rights and integrity of the Bulgarian community, in which it opposed the division of the Bolhrad district of Odesa region.
The Bulgarian parliament stressed the need to hold an urgent intergovernmental meeting to protect the rights and observe the administrative unity of the Bulgarian minority in Ukraine in accordance with existing bilateral agreements, including those ensuring education in Bulgarian.
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