Ukrainian President Zelenskyy arrives in Bulgaria

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on July 6 for a one-day visit, the Bulgarian government information service said.

On Twitter, Zelenskyy said: “I will hold substantial talks with Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov, meet with President Rumen Radev, government officials, parliamentarians, politicians and journalists”.

He said that the agenda of his visit includes defence support, Euro-Atlantic integration, the Nato Summit in Vilnius (scheduled for July 11 and 12), security guarantees and the implementation of his Peace Formula.

Zelenskyy arrived on a Bulgarian government aircraft at Sofia Airport soon after noon and was being transported by a motorcade to the centre of Sofia, where tight security measures were in place in the area surrounding government buildings.

At the Cabinet office, Zelenskyy was scheduled to hold talks with Denkov and with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Maria Gabriel.

Maria Gabriel, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister, welcomes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Bulgaria on July 6. Photo via Gabriel’s Twitter account.

He was also scheduled to meet the leaders of the four parliamentary groups – GERB-UDF, We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, and ITN – that tabled a draft declaration supporting Ukraine’s accession to Nato once the war is over.

A joint declaration on the Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and a memorandum on cooperation in the field of energy are expected to be signed. Both were approved by Bulgaria’s pro-Western government on the eve of Zelenskyy’s visit.

Denkov and Gabriel will host a discussion with the participation of Zelenskyy, ambassadors, politicians and representatives of civil society.

The event will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of the Cabinet.

Bulgaria’s Parliament amended its Order Paper on July 6 in the light of the Zelenskyy visit.

One item involves mandating the Energy Ministry to negotiate with Kyiv on selling Ukraine equipment from the Belene nuclear power station project, which has never been completed.

On the morning of July 6, with the support of GERB-UDF, WCC-DB, MRF and ITN, Parliament voted a decision to renew Bulgaria’s weaponry, to replace it with newly-manufactured items.

The draft declaration on Ukraine and Nato declares tthe 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 says that Parliament demands an end to nuclear blackmail, as well as to all actions of Russia, which are in sharp contradiction to the Charter of the United Nations and represent the most serious blow to the peace and prosperity of both the European and Russian peoples.

It supports Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula, the goal of which is a lasting and just peace.

In order to guarantee Ukraine’s ability to defend itself from the aggressor on its territory, the National Assembly insists that the institutions in Bulgaria continue to provide it with political, financial, humanitarian, military, military-technical support, until the full restoration of its sovereignty within the internationally recognized borders, the draft declaration says.

It says that the 49th National Assembly reaffirms its full support for Nato’s Open Doors policy independent of external factors; expects the Bulgarian government, including at the upcoming Summit of the Alliance in Vilnius in July this year, to express a position in support of Ukraine’s membership in Nato, after the restoration of peace on Ukrainian territory. At the same time, its calls on allies to use the Summit to outline clear parameters on the path to Ukraine’s Nato membership.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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