PM, Defence Minister: Bulgaria is not discussing sending Bulgarian military personnel to Ukraine

At a hearing in Parliament on February 29, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and Defence Minister Todor Tagarev reiterated that Bulgaria was not discussing sending Bulgarian military personnel to Ukraine.

The hearing was requested as a sequel to Denkov’s February 26 visit to Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

“I am pleased to be able to provide clarifications on topics that are really explosive and which the opposition is trying to use to blow up public opinion with no reason,” Denkov told Parliament.

“Many months ago, when asked by the media, I said that while I am Prime Minister, we will never discuss and there will be no decision on sending Bulgarian soldiers to Ukraine,” he said, adding that this had not changed.

Kornelia Ninova, whose Bulgarian Socialist Party group had requested the hearing of Denkov, said: “You know that in Paris President Macron made a statement that although no consensus has been reached now and immediately, in the future there is the issue of providing live force under bilateral agreements between Nato member states and the European Union and Ukraine”.

Denkov said that Macron’s words were his alone: “Don’t try to put the words of other heads of sovereign states in our mouths, that’s cynical”.

Tagarev said that the February 26 meeting in Paris – which he attended – was a working meeting for the exchange of opinions. No decisions were made and no documents signed.

“We have not discussed a bilateral agreement (with Ukraine) in the field of security,” Tagarev said.

“If we decide at some point to prepare some kind of agreement, it will absolutely be brought to your attention and will require your approval,” he said.

Tagarev underlined that he and Denkov had confirmed many times that Bulgaria is not discussing sending Bulgarian military personnel to Ukraine. Denkov said that no matter how many times this question is asked, there would be the same answer as many times.

“As for the decisions of other countries such as Canada, US, France, Britain – they have their sovereign right to make their decisions,” Denkov said.

He issued a reminder that Bulgaria’s constitution says that military personnel may not be deployed to other countries without the consent of the National Assembly.

Russia is an aggressor that attacked Ukraine “and we are obliged to protect and help a sovereign state attacked by its neighbour and anyone who closes his eyes to this means that he is working against the Bulgarian national interest,” Denkov said.

Pressed by minority populist group ITN, Denkov had to repeat once again – but this time in a personal capacity, that he is against sending soldiers to Ukraine.

And he added again that Ukraine should be supported against the Russian aggressor.

“After Ukraine, it turned out that it could be Moldova. Everyone can think about who could be after Moldova,” Denkov said.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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