Bulgaria will provide assistance to Ukraine so that it can continue the counteroffensive that has apparently begun and liberate its territories, Bulgaria’s new Defence Minister Todor Tagarev said.
This would be done within the framework of Allied decisions and the decisions of the National Assembly, Tagarev said.
He named one of his policy directions as related to the importance of the contribution of Bulgaria and its military in ensuring security and stability in the Black Sea region and in South Eastern Europe.
“We will have security when the last occupier leaves the border of Ukraine and the Kremlin’s aggressive intentions are blocked. Only in this way can our region and our future be guaranteed,” Tagarev said.
“We must do what is necessary, both to strengthen our defence capabilities and to provide assistance to Ukraine so that it can continue the counteroffensive that has apparently begun and liberate its territories,” he said.
In November 2022, Bulgaria’s 48th National Assembly approved a decision obliging the caretaker government of the time to come up with a list of weaponry to supply to Ukraine. That decision went further than a parliamentary decision earlier in 2022, approved after Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, for Bulgaria to provide “military-technical” assistance to Ukraine.
After that National Assembly was dissolved, the caretaker government – appointed by President Roumen Radev, an opponent of Bulgaria providing military assistance to Ukraine – claimed that it had fulfilled this mandate, a claim that remains disputed.
The Nikolai Denkov government that took office in June 6 is backed by the two largest groups in Bulgaria’s 49th National Assembly, GERB-UDF and We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, both of which support Bulgaria supplying weaponry and military equipment to Ukraine to enable that country to defend itself against Russia.
Tagarev’s June 6 statement distinguishes him from the line taken by his predecessor in the portfolio, Dimitar Stoyanov, a close ally of Radev and who echoed the president’s resistance to supplying military aid to Ukraine.
Tagarev named his other priorities as continuation of efforts to strengthen Bulgaria’s defence capabilities, and ensuring democratic civil-military relations.
At a sitting of the 49th National Assembly on June 7, MPs rejected – by 166 votes against, 37 for and with 18 abstentions – a draft decision tabled by the pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane to terminate the 2006 agreement between the United States and Bulgaria on the joint use of military bases in Bulgaria.
The votes against came from GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and ITN, while the Bulgarian Socialist Party abstained and only Vuzrazhdane’s MPs voted in favour.
(Photo of Tagarev via BNT)
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