Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel has commented on her government's decision to allow a Russian delegation led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to fly over Bulgarian airspace to participate in an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe ministerial meeting in North Macedonia.
Source: Her statement was quoted by BTA, European Pravda
Details: According to Gabriel, Bulgaria would never allow a Russian plane to fly through its airspace without having a clear idea of the composition of the delegation.
"The permit is temporary, only for the duration of the meeting in Skopje, which is extremely important if we want to talk about the future of the OSCE," she said.
The minister added that Bulgaria's decision had been agreed with the EU.
She noted that initially, the Russian delegation included representatives who had to be excluded due to their presence on EU sanctions lists.
After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, EU countries closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. Now, Lavrov's arrival in North Macedonia will be his first visit to a NATO member state since 24 February 2022.
Last week, the government of North Macedonia allowed a Russian plane carrying a Russian delegation to participate in an OSCE ministerial meeting to fly over its territory. Bulgaria confirmed that it had allowed the plane to fly through its airspace for this purpose.
Due to Lavrov's visit to Skopje, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba will boycott the OSCE ministerial meeting.