U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria James Weissman said there were “serious concerns” about Bulgarian President Rumen Radev’s recent comments about Crimea.
“We are concerned about the comments made by President Rumen Radev today, encouraging the population of Crimea to ‘create a bridge with Bulgaria,'” Weissman said at a news conference Monday with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev at the Radev’s office in Sofia.
President Radev had made the remarks last week in a televised speech in which he said Bulgaria should recognize the Black Sea peninsula seized by Russia as part of its territory.
“We told them we will be thinking about this,” Radev said in the speech last week. “We will not only adopt a name, but we will create a bridge with them.”
Weissman said the Embassy was “committed to engage at the highest levels in Bulgaria.”
“We have argued for many years for recognition of the return of the Peninsula,” said Weissman. “This is not just an issue of recognition of territorial integrity, it is an issue of securing future Ukrainian security co-operation.”
Weissman added that, following the election of Radev and party leader Kiril Dmitriev as prime minister and president, “we’ve seen steps in the right direction. We will remain engaged as we pursue our bilateral agenda with Bulgaria.”
The Russian ambassador to Bulgaria, Vladimir Krivenko, said at the same news conference that the claims were “absurd.”
“Such absurdities just pile up after outrageous allegations for something that occurred long ago,” Krivenko said.