Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said in a television interview on April 23 that as an individual, not as Prime Minister, he believes that sending military aid to Ukraine “is the absolutely right thing to do”.
The four-party coalition government headed by Petkov is deadlocked over the issue.
Democratic Bulgaria wants Parliament to mandate the government to send military aid to Ukraine while the Bulgarian Socialist Party is vehemently opposed and has threatened to quit the ruling majority if arms are sent.
ITN leader Slavi Trifonov has stated support for Bulgaria sending military aid to Ukraine, while earlier this week Petkov said that he wanted his We Continue the Change party to broker a common position on the issue within the ruling majority.
“As Kiril Petkov, not as Prime Minister, for me military aid is the absolutely right thing to do,” he told Nova Televizia on Saturday.
“But in this case, I am the Prime Minister, I have coalition partners who have clear ‘red lines’ and my task is not to pretend to be the bravest,” Petkov said.
He confirmed that he had asked his coalition partners to accompany him to Kyiv next week “because one cannot have a more informed solution than when one is there”.
“I hope that this week, while Parliament is on holiday, we will do our job as leaders and everyone will take a step back, think about how important the stability of Bulgaria is and what our common position should be, instead of drawing red lines,” Petkov said.
He said that his government had made it clear many times that it condemns Russia’s aggression.
“Ukraine’s place is in the EU. This is their security,” he said.
Attempts by Democratic Bulgaria and the opposition GERB-UDF to get on to the agenda of Parliament the proposal to send military aid to Ukraine so far have been thwarted.
Parliament is currently in recess and is due to resume on May 4.
Earlier this week, Trifonov said in a Facebook post that Russia was waging an unjust and immoral war on Ukraine.
“If there is a red line, I am on the side of those who think that Ukraine should be helped in every way – including with weapons,” Trifonov said.
Democratic Bulgaria MP Ivailo Mirchev told Bulgarian National Television in an April 23 interview that from the very beginning, Democratic Bulgaria had a principled position on the issue of arms shipments to Ukraine.
“This is a government decision, there is no need for Parliament to make a decision,” Mirchev said.
“We are optimistic, there is a coalition council on Tuesday, where this topic will be put,” he said.
“The whole civilised world has already sent military aid to Ukraine – there is no country that has not done so,” Mirchev said.
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