• Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed military aid during his visit to the Bulgarian capital.
  • Bulgaria’s parliament expressed support for Ukraine’s future entry into NATO after its conflict with Russia concludes.
  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov affirmed his country’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity, highlighting the importance of an independent and sovereign Ukraine for Euro-Atlantic security in the region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy raised the topic of military aid in his discussions during his visit to the Bulgarian capital. Bulgaria’s parliament showed its support for Ukraine’s membership in NATO following the resolution of the conflict with Russia.

During his short visit, Zelenskyy also addressed European integration and bilateral energy cooperation. In interviews after the meetings, he defended Ukraine’s right to defend itself against Russian aggression and seek assistance if needed.

“Occupiers came to our land, killed, tortured, kidnapped Ukrainian children, separated them from their families, and tried to teach them hatred,” Zelenskyy stated. “This is happening at a time when we need to unite and establish an international order based on rules,” he added.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov emphasized his country’s support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity as an EU and NATO member.

“Bulgaria consistently supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity because we believe that an independent and sovereign Ukraine is crucial for Euro-Atlantic security in the region,” Denkov said following the discussions.

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“Russia should unconditionally withdraw within its internationally recognized borders and bear the responsibility,” he added.

Additionally, Bulgaria’s Parliament approved a declaration supporting Ukraine’s future membership in NATO once the conflict is resolved.

Bulgaria Russia Ukraine War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov exchange handshakes and sign a memorandum at the Council of Ministers office in Sofia, Bulgaria, on July 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

According to the declaration, the fastest way to restore peace in Ukraine, the Black Sea region, and Europe is Russia’s immediate and complete withdrawal beyond the internationally recognized borders of the affected sovereign states.

The declaration, which gained majority support in Parliament, also called for ongoing military and technical assistance to Ukraine for its self-defense.

The Socialist party and a nationalist pro-Kremlin group opposed the document.

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Later in the day, Zelenskyy faced opposition from Bulgaria’s mostly ceremonial President, Rumen Radev, regarding the provision of military supplies to Ukraine.

“I maintain my belief that this conflict cannot be resolved militarily, and increasing weapon supply will not solve it,” Radev stated. He called for consistent efforts to deescalate, a ceasefire, and a peaceful resolution through diplomatic means.

Although the presidential position in Bulgaria is mainly ceremonial, it holds significant influence in shaping public opinion. A sizable portion of the population shares pro-Russian sympathies due to historical and cultural ties between the two nations.

Zelenskyy was scheduled to meet with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in Prague later in the day.

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