Bulgaria’s new government approves a new package of military aid for Ukraine

Bulgaria’s new government has approved a new package of military and military-technical assistance for Ukraine in line with a decision taken by the previous Parliament in December 2022, the government information service said.

The government information service announced the move in a brief statement on June 26, three days after the Cabinet made the decision.

The statement said that the approved list is comparable in volume to the aid from the first package granted by the (now-departed) caretaker government, giving no details of the aid to be supplied.

“With the provision of this aid, the norms of stocks for action by the armed forces of the Republic of Bulgaria and their training and combat exercises will not be violated,” the statement said.

Under the Kiril Petkov government, Bulgaria supplied arms to Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s unprovoked aggression in its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

In May 2022, after the invasion, Bulgaria’s Parliament voted for the provision of military-technical assistance for Ukraine, and towards the close of the year, a vast majority of MPs voted to expand this by mandating the government of the day to supply arms to Ukraine.

The caretaker government appointed by President Roumen Radev – who repeatedly has said of Russia’s war on Ukraine that he wants “peace” and opposes supplying arms to Ukraine – claimed that it had fulfilled this mandate, and refusing to go further, tabled legislation that would require a fresh parliamentary vote for new supplies.

Critics saw this as unconstitutional defiance on the part of the caretaker government of a decision by the National Assembly.

The pro-Western government elected into office on June 6 made a series of decision reversing Radev’s policies, including, on June 21, withdrawing the proposal to Parliament that further supplying by Bulgaria of arms to Ukraine should require a parliamentary vote.

Radev has claimed, without evidence, that the new Bulgarian government is “pushing the country into war”. On June 23, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said that, with the intention of providing more decisive military aid to Ukraine, the government was strictly complying with the decisions of the National Assembly on this issue. In spite of Denkov’s assurance, the very gullible and those prone to groundless conspiracy theories pushed by Putin’s propagandists echo the line about Bulgaria being dragged into war.

Those who parrot Kremlin propaganda – out of conviction, venality or sheer dimwittedness – apart from claiming that Bulgaria is being dragged into the war, also lie that Bulgaria will dispatch its armed forces to participate in the war – a move that is impossible (and unconstitutional) without a vote by the National Assembly. No such vote, nor a proposal for one, exists.

On social networks, lies are also spread about Bulgaria military personnel being “secretly mobilised”, deliberately misinterpreting routine procedures to update records of reservists, that have been practice for years, even before Russia’s 2014 illegal invasion of Ukraine and that country’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

In March 2023, Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court rejected an appeal from 50 MPs – from pro-Kremlin Vuzrazhdane party and the Bulgarian Socialist Party – to rule on the National Assembly’s decision to supply military materiel to Ukraine as inadmissible and closed the case.

Those who oppose Nato member Bulgaria assisting Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression speak of “the parties of war” – notably echoing terminology deployed by Stalin at the time of the Soviet Union and the Cold War, who referred to his own bloc as one of “peace” and the West as warmongers. As emerged from hitherto-classified documents after the end of the Cold War, Stalin’s and subsequent Soviet regimes devoted considerable resources to covertly funding the so-called “peace” camp.

Those unfortunate gullible and dimwitted cohorts who swallow and regurgitate the lies of the latter-day regime in Putin’s Russia may feel a bit disappointed if they learn that they were not in the circle paid to do so.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via amazon.com, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.