Bulgaria’s government adopts draft joint declaration on Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine

At a meeting on July 5, Bulgaria’s government approved a draft of a Joint Declaration between Bulgaria and Ukraine regarding the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine, the government information service said.

The declaration was adopted amid several media reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was to visit Bulgaria on July 6.

The visit has been reported to be at the invitation of Bulgaria’s new pro-Western government, sworn in a month ago, and not President Roumen Radev.

The bilateral declaration on Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration reaffirms Bulgaria’s strong political support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression to protect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on its path to Nato membership when conditions allow.

Bulgaria has been a long-standing, consistent and clear supporter of Nato’s open door policy, as well as Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations, the government statement said.

Bulgaria will continue its support for Ukraine’s membership in Nato, as decided by the Nato Summit in Bucharest in 2008, reaffirmed at subsequent Alliance summits, including in Madrid in June 2022, the statement said.

On July 4, the National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee adopted a draft declaration supporting Ukraine’s accession to Nato once the war is over.

The declaration was tabled by four out of the six groups in the 49th National Assembly: GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and ITN.

According to the declaration, the fastest track to the restoration of peace in Ukraine, the Black Sea region and Europe is Russia’s full and immediate withdrawal beyond the internationally recognised borders of the affected sovereign states.

The declaration also calls for continued military and technical support for Ukraine.

At the committee meeting, the declaration was opposed by pro-Kremlin minority party Vuzrazhdane.

The declaration has been tabled for voting in the House, where given majority backing for it, it is expected to be approved.

In another statement after the Cabinet meeting on July 5, the government information service said that Bulgaria and Ukraine would strengthen their cooperation in the energy field based on the principle of mutual benefit and taking into account the common interests and goals of both countries.

The main objective of a draft memorandum of understanding between the energy ministries of the two countries, approved by the Cabinet, is to create a basic framework for deepening this cooperation, the statement said.

The document expresses the desire of both parties to exchange scientific-technical, engineering and operational experience in the field of the use and transfer of knowledge and know-how related to the more efficient use of renewable energy sources and new energy technologies.

Potential areas of cooperation are related to improving energy efficiency, increasing energy storage, launching smart grids, promoting digitalization, as well as cooperation in the field of nuclear energy.

A joint working group will develop the forms of cooperation in the indicated areas.

It is envisaged that the memorandum will be valid for five years, with the possibility of automatic renewal for a further three years, the statement said.

(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

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