Speaking ahead of a European Council meeting in Brussels on February 9, Bulgarian head of state President Roumen Radev said that his country would veto the inclusion of Russian nuclear fuel in the next package of sanctions by the EU.
Radev, who is representing Bulgaria at the summit because the country continues to not have an elected head of government, said that he had repeatedly expressed what he said was Bulgaria’s position on the matter, which he said directly affected Bulgaria’s energy and economy.
“We cannot accept a sanction in nuclear energy and if necessary, we will impose a veto,” he said.
He said that the caretaker government had implemented the decision of the 48th National Assembly to provide armaments from the reserves of the Bulgarian army to Ukraine, “and I hope that this will not be allowed in the future”.
“This is a bloody war and we hear less and less voices for peace. We only hear the sounds of the guns, we only hear calls for victory without anyone being able to define at the moment what victory means,” Radev said.
“It is time, one year after the start of the bloody war between Russia and Ukraine, that the focus should be placed above all on measures to end it and on the resumption of all diplomatic efforts in the search for a peaceful solution,” he said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, speaking ahead of the European Council meeting, told reporters: “On Ukraine, I will participate in a debate where, together with President [of Ukraine, Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, the result will be – I am sure – more support for Ukraine: providing more arms, more military support, more financial support in order to make Ukraine able to resist the Russian aggression”.
European Council President Charles Michel, in his letter of invitation to the meeting, told leaders of EU countries: “In the follow-up to the EU-Ukraine summit in Kyiv on February 3, and in the context of Russia’s brutal war, which has lasted almost a full year, we will continue to address all aspects of our unwavering support to Ukraine”.
“I would also like us to discuss in particular Ukraine’s initiative for a just peace, based on full respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the potential use of Russia’s frozen and immobilised assets and accountability,” Michel said.
Zelenskyy, speaking at the European Council, said that that further steps need to be taken including sanctions against Russia’s drone, missile and IT sectors.
He called on the EU leaders to supply Ukraine weapons more quickly before Russia can assemble its forces for renewed attacks.
Earlier on February 9, addressing the European Parliament, Zelenskyy said that Russia was trying to annihilate not only sovereign Ukraine, but also the European way of life.
Zelenskyy said that Europe was a continent steeped in rules, values, equality and fairness, and a place where Ukraine is firmly at home.
The Kremlin, on the other hand, was doing its utmost to destroy European values, Zelenskyy said, emphasising how Ukraine was fighting for and protecting Europe from this anti-European force.
Zelenskyy thanked all Europeans who had supported Ukraine in the fight against the Russian invader and all those who had helped Ukrainian refugees arriving in the EU.
He called on Europe and Ukraine to walk together and define a common European future. However, he said that “for our dreams for our children and grandchildren to come true, we need peace and security”.
“These dreams will not be possible if we do not overcome this anti-European force trying to steal our Europe from us,” Zelenskyy said.
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