Borissov sparks row with claim Bulgaria is secretly arming Ukraine

Opposition GERB-UDF leader and former prime minister Boiko Borissov sparked a row on April 25 by alleging, without offering evidence, that Bulgaria has been secretly supplying military aid to Ukraine.

Democratic Bulgaria, part of the ruling majority, and GERB-UDF have tabled draft decisions in Parliament to mandate the government to supply arms to Ukraine, while a proposal by Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s We Continue the Change (WCC) party would, if adopted by the National Assembly, limit aid to “technical assistance”, with no weaponry.

Borissov told reporters: “Our weapons factories are working at full capacity, exactly the products used in Ukraine. This is no secret”.

“The Bulgarian arms industry in this region is producing ammunition and we are giving it. But like with everything else, behind the scenes, secretly, contrary to all the ‘change’ they [WCC] promised,” he said.

According to Borissov, Parliament could approve a decision to supply arms to Ukraine, given that such a move had the backing of his coalition, that of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, as well as Democratic Bulgaria and the ITN party.

He said that it was “no coincidence” that the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) was silent on the – alleged – supplying of weapons to Ukraine “because with their signature this is happening. This is hypocrisy”.

BSP leader Kornelia Ninova, whose signature would be required to authorise arms exports but whose party has vehemently opposed proposals for Bulgaria to arm Ukraine, said that Borissov was lying.

“Borissov, you are lying,” Ninova said in a Facebook post.

“Bulgaria does not export weapons to Ukraine or Russia. If it did, it is unlikely that the pressure on the government by foreign forces would be so great now. It is unlikely that Ukraine’s foreign minister would stay in Parliament for two days, waiting for a decision on arms exports,” she said.

Hristo Ivanov, co-leader of Democratic Bulgaria, said on April 25 that given the “changed positions” of WCC and ITN on sending military aid to Ukraine, there was no need for the meeting scheduled for Tuesday of the ruling majority’s coalition council.

Ivanov said that Democratic Bulgaria would take the opportunity to propose that the issue be the first item on the agenda of Parliament when it resumes on May 4.

“No one will be able to postpone consideration of this decision anymore, and every political force will have to take a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ position,” he told Bulgarian National Radio.

Ivanov said that Democratic Bulgaria would respond to Prime Minister Petkov’s invitation to send a representative to accompany Petkov as part of a coalition government delegation scheduled to depart for Kyiv on April 27.

Petkov issued the invitation with the stated goal of a visit to Kyiv leading to a consensus position within the ruling majority.

Ivanov said that the Democratic Bulgaria representative would be appointed appropriately to the level of the other participants.

(Screenshot from Borissov’s Facebook page)

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