Bulgaria Mulls Opening Honorary Consulate in Ukraine's Kharkiv

File photo, EPA/BGNES

A Bulgarian Honorary Consulate might be opened in the Eastern Ukrainian region of Kharkiv that will also have a mandate for Dnipropetrovsk to the south, local media outlets report.

Bulgaria's Ambassador to Ukraine is quoted as saying that authorities are considering the idea, and a name of the potential Honorary Consul has been put forward.

Krasimir Minchev has met local officials including Kharkiv's deputy governor Yuliya Svetlichnaya.

He has pointed out that Bulgaria is interested in cooperating with the region (whose population  is estimated at about 2.7 m, nearly a third of Bulgaria's) in a vast number of areas, including in providing assistance in talking regional production out to the European market.

Svetlinchnaya for her part has noted that Kharkiv is ready to establish new links in the "economic, cultural, and educational sphere".

During the meeting, an agreement has been established that cooperation would be renewed with Bulgaria's second-largest city of Plovdiv, on trade, economy, science and culture (an existing agreement dates back to the early 2000s).

A 2001 census in Ukraine (the last one held to date) estimated the number of ethnic Bulgarians in Kharkiv region at 1071, much below their number in Odessa (over 150 000), Zaporizhia (nearly 27 800), Mykolaiv (5 614) or Donetsk (4 833).

In Dnipropetrov region, their number was put at 2269 people.

Ukrainian authorities say the ethnic Bulgarian population numbered some 204 000 people at the beginning of the previous decade.

However, Bulgaria has claimed over recent years that the population is growing steadily and is at least 250 000.

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