National Day Message by H. E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Bulgaria

August 24, 1991 is one of the most important and significant dates in the history of Ukraine. It is on this day that the independent state of Ukraine was restored.

I am pleased to note that Bulgaria was one of the first countries that responded to the restoration of Ukraine's independence, recognizing it as an independent state on December 5, 1991, and establishing diplomatic relations with it on the 13th of the same month.

Bulgaria actively supports the course of the European integration reforms and the agenda of the Ukraine-EU dialogue. This is especially valuable in times of Russian aggression. I would like to stress that the political dialogue between Ukraine and Bulgaria is quite active. In April this year the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba came to Bulgaria on a working visit. In the same month the then Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria Kiril Petkov was on an official visit to Kiev, leading a delegation of state officials and members of the National Assembly. Thus Bulgaria expressed its solidarity with Ukraine in the war with Russia.

I would like to underline that Bulgaria is an important market for Ukrainian products in the EU, which has traditionally accumulated a positive foreign trade balance for Ukraine, the country is also our largest trade and economic partner in the Balkan region. Bulgaria's share in the total structure of Ukraine's merchandise exports is 1. 23% and in the structure of merchandise imports is 0. 74%.

I hope there will be a transit of grain through Bulgaria, because Ukraine is currently doing everything possible to overcome the grain crisis and prevent famine.

It is a positive fact that Ukraine is among Bulgaria's 8 main trading partners, whose share in 2021 is 59. 0% of the country's total exports of goods for the period.

I would like to point out that even in these difficult times, when Ukraine is suffering from the full-scale aggression of its northern neighbour, the potential for growth in bilateral trade remains. Thus, according to the National Statistical Institute of Bulgaria, in the first half of 2022 the total volume of foreign trade in goods between Ukraine and Bulgaria amounted to 2. 13 billion. BGN (USD 1. 13 billion).

I express my gratitude to Bulgaria and to the Bulgarian people for the assistance they are providing to Ukraine. I am pleased to underline that Bulgaria has provided and continues to provide support and assistance to the temporarily displaced Ukrainians who have been forced to leave their home country to escape Russian aggression.

I appreciate that in May this year the 47th National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria adopted a resolution on the provision of military-technical assistance. The document, in particular, provides for the repair of military equipment in Bulgarian factories, which will contribute to the victory of Ukraine. I have no doubt that Bulgaria will start providing concrete military-technical assistance with weapons like the EU countries, the US, the UK and Canada.

It is a great honour for me to be Ambassador of Ukraine in Bulgaria. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Bulgaria for its firm and unwavering support to Ukraine over the years. Bulgaria, as a member of NATO and the EU, supports Ukraine, votes for sanctions against the aggressor, stands up for democracy, freedom and European values.

Ukraine faces many challenges. One of them is armed aggression. In 2014, the Russians illegally occupied Crimea and part of Donbas. But they didn't stop there. On February 24, 2022, Ukraine awoke from a full-scale invasion. Until that day, Ukrainian cities lived an ordinary life. Now, after the brutal invasion of the enemy, fear and death are in the streets of the country. Russian aggression spares no one - neither unarmed men, nor women, nor children. They are taking as hostages municipal councillors, journalists and their relatives to put pressure on Ukrainians and force them to keep silent about Russia's crimes. This war was not only started to kill Ukrainians, it was also intended to destroy Ukraine's history, culture and ancestral pride. The Russians are destroying Ukrainian museums, galleries and churches to destroy the Ukrainian nation and its unique, proud culture.

Now Ukraine is heroically defending its territorial integrity. The fearless Ukrainian people are bravely fighting for freedom and a bright future in a prosperous European country. I believe in our victory. It is inevitable. I congratulate Ukrainians and Bulgarian friends on the occasion of Independence Day. I wish for peace, success and development of the Ukrainian-Bulgarian relations.

Happy Birthday, Ukraine!


The photo was provided by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Bulgaria. On it: H. E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Bulgaria