The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the ruling coalition member vehemently opposed to proposals for Bulgaria to supply arms to Ukraine, has refused to take part in Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s planned trip to Kyiv.
Petkov plans to lead a coalition government delegation on April 27 to Ukraine’s capital city, to resolve the impasse in the ruling majority on the issue of weapons for Ukraine.
Two of the partners in the governing coalition – Democratic Bulgaria and the ITN party – are in favour of Bulgaria providing Ukraine with military aid, while Petkov’s We Continue the Change party has proposed giving technical but not military assistance, although Petkov has said that he as an individual is in favour of providing military aid.
In a statement on April 26, the BSP said that its executive bureau had decided not to send a party representative to be part of Petkov’s delegation in Kyiv.
The party said that its leadership all agreed “that there is enough information about the situation in Ukraine and the consequences of the war”.
“The BSP reiterates its support for sending aid to Ukraine – humanitarian, protective equipment, food, medicine and medical supplies, for the restoration of civilian infrastructure, and so on, without military aid such as ammunition and deadly weapons,” the party said.
“We expect the decision on full support for Ukraine to be made in Sofia, after consultations between coalition partners, thus closing the issue and the government concentrating on overcoming other priority issues such as inflation, income, economic growth and social policy,” the BSP said.
The BSP decision came on the day that the ruling majority’s coalition council was meeting to try to reach a unified position on providing military assistance to Ukraine.
Democratic Bulgaria has said that it wants the proposal to send military aid to Ukraine to be the first item on the agenda when Parliament resumes on May 4.
On April 25, Petkov announced a campaign for everyone, as he said he had done, to donate a month’s salary to fund the supply of weapons to Ukraine.
That announcement prompted mixed reactions, from scorn – even from within the ruling majority, with ITN leader Slavi Trifonov calling it “monstrous stupidity” – to a welcome from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
Kuleba was in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia for several days last week, in a quest to secure support for Bulgaria supplying weapons to Ukraine. His visit had no immediate effect, with Bulgaria’s political battle lines on the issue remaining unaltered.
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