Bulgaria calls on its citizens to leave Ukraine

In a statement dated February 12, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged its citizens residing in Ukraine to leave that country and refrain from traveling to Ukraine.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to the deteriorating situation in and around Ukraine.

The ministry recommended that all Bulgarian citizens residing temporarily or permanently in Ukraine contact the relevant section his website.

On the night of February 11, the Cabinet Security Council convened by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov met to discuss the ongoing escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the government intelligence service said.

During the meeting, Petkov emphasized that the goal is to develop a concrete strategic action plan for Bulgaria to follow in case of escalation of the conflict.

“We must be prepared for any scenario and be sure that the national security strategy will be implemented in the best possible way,” Petkov said.

He said Bulgaria was and will remain a loyal and predictable member of NATO. Security Council members are also discussing response measures if Russia responds with energy restrictions in the event of new sanctions, the statement said.

Bulgaria is the latest in a string of countries to ask its nationals to leave Ukraine as Russian forces have massed on Ukraine’s borders.

The UK Foreign Office previously said in a travel advisory that UK nationals should leave Ukraine now while commercial means are still available.

Since January 2022, the buildup of Russian forces on Ukraine’s borders has increased the threat of military action, the statement said.

On February 11, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged US citizens to leave Ukraine immediately, echoing a call made the previous day by US President Joe Biden.

Blinken said Russia could attack Ukraine “at any time.”

Other countries that have asked their citizens to leave Ukraine are Germany, Belgium, Canada, Estonia, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the Netherlands.

(Photo: Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

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