Bulgarian PM backs Ukraine joining Nato, after war is over

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov expressed his support for Ukraine’s admission to Nato, but set the condition that this should happen after the war.

Denkov was speaking to reporters on July 11 at the start of the two-day Nato Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, where the topic of Ukraine’s eventual admission to the Alliance is a key agenda item.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Twitter on July 11: “Now, on the way to Vilnius, we received signals that certain wording is being discussed without Ukraine.

“And I would like to emphasize that this wording is about the invitation to become Nato member, not about Ukraine’s membership. It’s unprecedented and absurd when time frame is not set neither for the invitation nor for Ukraine’s membership,” Zelenskyy said.

“While at the same time vague wording about ‘conditions’ is added even for inviting Ukraine. It seems there is no readiness neither to invite Ukraine to Nato nor to make it a member of the Alliance.

“This means that a window of opportunity is being left to bargain Ukraine’s membership in Nato in negotiations with Russia. And for Russia, this means motivation to continue its terror. Uncertainty is weakness. And I will openly discuss this at the summit,” he said.

Denkov said: “From the summit of Nato in Vilnius, I expect to have a final result, in which it is explicitly said that Ukraine will be invited when the circumstances allow”.

He said that this corresponds to the content of recently adopted declarations by Bulgaria’s National Assembly and Cabinet.

“There will be a clear prospect that Ukraine will become a member of Nato, but for that we must have the relevant conditions. As long as Ukraine is in a state of war with a neighbouring country, it cannot be accepted, but the conditions under which it will eventually be accepted will be clear,” Denkov said.

Interviewed by Sky News, Denkov was reluctant to comment on the controversial decision by the United States to supply cluster bombs to Ukraine, responding: “This is a military question and I am not a military person…this is not my topic”.

He went on: “Yes, politically it’s a sensitive topic because many of the countries have signed this treaty (against cluster bombs), while you know the United States and Russia have not signed it, so the fact that Russia has not signed it means that they accept that this could be a type of ammunition that could be used there…As far as I have heard, they (Russia) have already used this type of ammunition, so if they use it, it is a normal expectation that the other side also uses it”.

Denkov said that it was a military question whether the use of cluster bombs would create a risk for the Ukrainian forces, “this is something that I don’t know how this will affect the battles in the next days and weeks”.

He confirmed that Bulgaria was a party to the treaty banning cluster bombs.

“That’s why we consider this as a military decision, not a political decision, on our side but we are in a full-fledged war, so when you have a war, the treaties are important, but it is even more important to have a success on the battlefield,” Denkov said.

(Photo: government.bg)

Please support The Sofia Globe’s independent journalism by becoming a subscriber to our page on Patreon:

Become a Patron!

The Sofia Globe staff

The Sofia Globe - the Sofia-based fully independent English-language news and features website, covering Bulgaria, the Balkans and the EU. Sign up to subscribe to sofiaglobe.com's daily bulletin through the form on our homepage. https://www.patreon.com/user?u=32709292