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Bulgaria signs declaration in support of Ukraine's move toward NATO membership

by Dinara Khalilova July 6, 2023 7:39 PM 3 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky and Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov during their meeting in Sofia, Bulgaria, on July 6, 2023. (Ukraine's Presidential Office)
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Following a bilateral meeting in Sofia on July 6, President Volodymyr Zelensky and Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov signed a joint declaration on Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration.

According to Presidential Office deputy head Ihor Zhovkva, the document affirms Bulgaria's support for Ukraine joining NATO "as soon as conditions allow," as well as its readiness to continue aiding Ukraine both through NATO and at the bilateral level.

According to the declaration, Bulgaria recognizes that Ukraine's NATO accession is "the only way to ensure a sufficient level of security both for Ukraine and the entire Euro-Atlantic family."

Bulgaria is the 22nd country to sign the declaration of support for Ukraine's NATO aspirations, added Zhovkva.

Zelensky also met with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to discuss the Ukrainian peace formula, the appointment of Bulgaria's Ambassador to Ukraine, and the countries' cooperation in the Black Sea region.

The talk also touched on Ukraine's progress toward fulfilling the EU candidate criteria and Russia's potential attack on Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.

Radev has consistently opposed providing Ukraine with large-scale defense assistance. He has been accused of having a pro-Moscow stance and called Crimea "Russian" during a 2021 presidential debate.

After parliament approved arms supplies to Kyiv in December last year, the interim cabinet provided the first military aid package, but Radev reportedly blocked further aid. However, the new government, which was formed in early June under Prime Minister Denkov, appears to be taking active steps to help Ukraine repel Russian aggression.

Bulgaria announced its second military aid package for Ukraine on June 27 without specifying its content.

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