Bulgaria’s PM says arms to Ukraine issue will not bring down government
Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said during a visit to Ukraine on April 28 that he did not think the coalition government would fall because of the issue of Bulgaria providing military equipment to Ukraine.
Within Bulgaria’s quadripartite ruling majority, three of the partners – Petkov’s We Continue the Change (WCC), Democratic Bulgaria and ITN – support providing military and technical assistance to Ukraine, while the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has repeatedly stated its opposition.
Petkov, who visited Bucha, where 97 victims of the war are buried in a mass grave following mass murders of civilians of which Russia stands accused, said that he would speak to the BSP again, according to a report by Bulgarian National Radio.
Petkov and the delegation he is leading earlier visited Borodyanka, where he said that most likely next week Bulgaria’s Parliament would vote for Bulgaria to provide military assistance to Ukraine.
He said that he would explain to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, at talks scheduled for later on April 28, that the WCC executive body had made a clear decision “and I very much hope that the Bulgarian Parliament next week, not in the distant future, will decide on military technical assistance for Ukraine”.
Petkov also responded to President Roumen Radev’s statements on April 27 that the Bulgarian delegation’s visit to Ukraine was unnecessary and that Bulgaria should not provide military assistance.
“The disgraceful part is the idea that it is best not to help Ukraine to end this conflict faster,” Petkov said of Radev’s stance.
“This is not the position of the democratic world, it cannot be the position of Bulgaria, we cannot just look at these scenes around us and say – well, it is best for the Bulgarian interest not to look at them at all, if possible,” Petkov said.
“I personally, as Prime Minister, am not at ease with this position and I really do not think it is honorable,” he said.
Petkov said that Bulgaria would not pay Russia for natural gas in accordance with the scheme demanded by Moscow. A day earlier, Gazprom said that it was cutting off natural gas supplies to Bulgaria.
“We will not pay in roubles and we will not pay to parties that are not part of the contract,” Petkov said.
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