site.btaPMs of Bulgaria, Ukraine Sign Statement on Key Aspects of Bilateral Cooperation, Defence Industry Companies Sign Memorandum of Cooperation

PMs of Bulgaria, Ukraine Sign Statement on Key Aspects of Bilateral Cooperation, Defence Industry Companies Sign Memorandum of Cooperation
PMs of Bulgaria, Ukraine Sign Statement on Key Aspects of Bilateral Cooperation, Defence Industry Companies Sign Memorandum of Cooperation
Prime Ministers Nikolay Denkov (left) and Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv, February 26, 2024 (Photo by the Council of Ministers)

In Kyiv on Monday, the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Ukraine, Nikolay Denkov and Denys Shmyhal signed a statement on key aspects of bilateral cooperation and discussed strategic matters of shared security and support for Ukraine, said the government press service in Sofia. A memorandum of cooperation was also signed between the Bulgarian state-owned company for defence equipment repair and modernization, Terem, and the Ukrainian Defence Industry joint-stock company.

Denkov is in Kyiv at the head of a government delegation to reconfirm his country’s support for Ukraine as it marks the second year from the start of the Russian aggression.

Justice Minister Atanas Slavov, who is among the government ministers in Kyiv with Denkov, said that Bulgaria is working on amendments to the Criminal Code to include the crime of aggression and to make Russian leaders and military commanders subject to prosecution. Bulgaria will also join the joint investigation team of EUROJUST. And it will also launch its own investigation into war crimes in Ukraine, including using testimonies and evidence from Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria.

Denkov told Shmyhal that “in the name of the Ukrainian people, peace in Europe, the security in Bulgaria and international peace, Bulgaria will back Ukraine for as long as it takes”. 

Denkov thanked the Ukrainian people and their leaders for showing the world what it means to fight for ideals. 

The two government leaders agreed that Russia and its leadership bear the sole responsibility for this war, for the grave crimes against humanity and for its global economic consequences. And they called for accountability. "It is important to bring the issue of justice into our bilateral talks, because it should be clear that in the 21st century the international community will stand up against any aggressor," the Bulgarian prime minister said.

He went on to voice support for the steps taken by the EU to increase the pressure on Russia to limit its capacity to wage war. “And we will continue to work with other countries to create an international mechanism to compensate victims of Russian aggression," said Denkov.

Shmyhal pointed out that Ukraine and Bulgaria have just taken another step towards deepening their partnership. "We will fight together against the Russian aggression. Bulgaria has a leadership position in the implementing Ukraine’s Peace Formula, in particular in the areas of environmental protection, energy, food supply and reconstruction," he said.

Bulgaria is actively engaged in Ukraine’s Peace Formula, as co-chair of the implementation of Point 8 (Immediate protection of the environment), Point 2 (Food Security), Point 3 (Energy Security) and Point 7 (Justice).

It also said that Bulgaria will also support Ukraine on the path of its integration into the EU and NATO and is ready to share its experience and expertise in the negotiation process and in the implementation of the necessary reforms.

The two countries also continue their cooperation on restoring security in the Black Sea region. Sofia will host the Second Black Sea Security Conference of the Crimean Platform in April 2024. Bulgaria and Ukraine will also continue their joint efforts to ensure global food security and secure transit corridors for Ukrainian agricultural exports.

Denkov and Shmyhal also discussed military-technical cooperation, deepening ties in the energy sector and the implementation of bilateral projects and initiatives in the field of environmental protection. 

The government press office said that the Justice Ministries of Bulgaria and Ukraine are ready to cooperate in the context of the international coalition to assist the return of Ukrainian children illegally deported and forcibly relocated to Russia. 

"We remain committed to Ukraine's reconstruction and are sympathetic to the efforts of your government and all Ukrainian people," Prime Minister Denkov said in conclusion.

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By 20:02 on 22.04.2024 Today`s news

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