UK to tackle illegal migration, organised crime and Russian disinformation with Bulgarian help

UK to tackle illegal migration, organised crime and Russian disinformation with Bulgarian help

The UK plans tackle to illegal migration, serious organised crime and Russian disinformation through a new strategic partnership with Bulgaria, a country widely regarded as Russia’s Trojan Horse in the EU.

A Joint Declaration signed by Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and his counterpart, Mariya Gabriel, in London today (24 October) will drive cooperation on shared challenges facing European countries, including organised crime and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The signing follows an agreement announced earlier this month between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov to tackle illegal migration and organised immigration crime with increased intelligence sharing and operational cooperation.

The UK has stepped up cooperation on law enforcement since 2020, providing training and equipment to the Bulgarian authorities, including Customs and Border Police, to disrupt the operations of criminal networks.

The Ministers are also expected to discuss the challenging situation in Israel and Gaza and the importance of regional security.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly

During their meeting the Foreign Ministers emphasised the need to continue to support Ukraine to defend itself against Russian disinformation and aggression and to restore security in the Black Sea region.

The UK and Bulgaria have been resolute in their support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, in the provision of lethal aid to Ukraine, and aligning closely in the implementation of the largest package of sanctions targeted against those supporting the war in Ukraine.

The joint declaration demonstrates both countries’ commitment to a wide-ranging relationship, building on over 140 years of strong ties. The Foreign Ministers also discussed their intention to set up a UK-Bulgaria bilateral forum in the future.

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