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Bulgarian Foreign Minister Visits Moldova, Meets Counterpart, Ethnic Bulgarians: Wrap-up

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska visited Moldova on Tuesday. She conferred with her Moldovan counterpart Nicu Popescu and spoke to ethnic Bulgarians living in that country.
Speaking at a joint news briefing with Popescu, Genchovska said that joint teams of Bulgaria, Moldova and Romania will be posted at the Moldova-Romania border to help the refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine.  
She said that Bulgaria can help Moldova. “We decided to come to your wonderful country because the war in Ukraine is putting you under a big strain. We are aware that the refugee flow will swell. That is why we discussed some specific ideas,” she said.
Popescu said that there are 100,000 refugees from Ukraine in Moldova and 40,000 of them are children.
The two chief diplomats discussed arrangements for more buses from Moldova to Bulgaria. The matter will be considered by the Bulgarian Government.
Popescu said that his country’s EU integration was also on the agenda. Genchovska added that several European councils in various configurations had reaffirmed Ukraine’s European perspective and the European integration of Moldova and Georgia. “It is a tough road, and Bulgaria will provide support,” the guest said.
Genchovska also visited Taraclia, a Moldovan town which is home to a large community of ethnic Bulgarians. She met with local people, with local government officials, and with the Charge d’affaires of the Bulgarian Consulate Angel Marinkov.
Situated in the south of Moldova, Taraclia is out of the main route of refugees from Ukraine, as most people fleeing the war go through the central and northern parts of the country.
Nikola Certom, a 27-tear-old ethnic Bulgarian, said that they hardly see any refugees in his home town, but he empathizes with those fleeing the war and knows how painful their experience is. His mother is Ukrainian, having moved to Moldova at age 5 with her mother.
Sveta, aged 63, said that local people are compassionate and willing to help. Those with big houses take in mothers with children. “We should help each other, any way we can,” she said.
Genchovska’s flight back home landed in Sofia late Tuesday evening, bringing 68 refugees from Ukraine including a large number of children.