site.btaPM Denkov: Bulgaria Joined Countries Supporting Ukraine in Line with Its Own Interests
Interviewed on Nova TV on Sunday, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov said Bulgaria had joined a group of countries which support Ukraine and this is in line with Bulgaria's interests. "It is extremely important for us that any conflict zones should stay as far away from our borders as possible, hence support for Ukraine's NATO membership distances the risks that could arise if things do not go well for Ukraine," he said.
Ukraine has already gained support for its NATO membership from more than 20 countries. Talking about the timing of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to Sofia on July 6, Denkov said: "They are trying to drum up as much support as possible ahead of the July 11-12 Vilnius Summit (…) where that support needs to be demonstrated."
Denkov said the immediate occasion for Zelenskyy's visit were two documents signed in Sofia: a Joint Declaration on Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic Integration and a Memorandum on Energy Cooperation. Both documents are in line with Bulgaria's interests and any other interpretation is untenable.
The Prime Minister said he had informed President Rumen Radev about Zelenskyy's visit, adding that he did not know why Radev had not invited the Ukrainian President himself.
"What I do know is that based on a political decision of its National Assembly and Council of Ministers, Bulgaria supports Ukraine, both in its war with the Russian leadership and in its bid to join NATO, Denkov said.
The policy which led to the meeting with Zelenskyy follows the decisions of the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers; this is Bulgaria's policy and there is no other policy, the Prime Minister said. He denied any differences within the government or between the government and Parliament. "Everything we did was fully coordinated."
Bulgaria will help Ukraine with things it can give without putting its own combat effectiveness at risk.
The Defence Ministry and the Chief of Defence will review the inventories and will decide what is needed to defend Bulgaria; if something is surplus to requirements, its provision to Ukraine will be discussed.
"We have ammunition whose shelf life expires in a couple of years. Unless it is provided to Ukraine, Bulgaria will have to pay to have that ammunition disposed of. We will be left with sufficient ammunition to ensure Bulgaria's combat effectiveness," Denkov said.