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Zelensky meets Bulgarian PM at Ukraine-Balkans summit

by Martin Fornusek and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 22, 2023 10:40 AM 2 min read
Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov (L) and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (R) meet at the Ukraine-Balkans summit, Aug. 21, 2023. (Source: President Volodymyr Zelensky/Twitter)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky met Bulgaria's Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov on Aug. 21 at the Ukraine-Balkans summit, discussing grain corridor and security issues.

"Fruitful talks with PM Nikolai Denkov yesterday at the Ukraine-Balkans summit," Zelensky wrote on Twitter on Aug. 22.

"We discussed further cooperation, Black Sea security, and securing alternative grain corridors."

Denkov and his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on July 24 that the two countries are considering helping Ukraine in shipping out its grain following Russia's unilateral termination of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

According to the Bulgarian news outlet Mediapool, Bulgarian trains could load Ukrainian grain at the Ukrainian-Romanian border and transport it to the Greek port of Alexandroupoli.

At the same time, Bulgaria is among the five EU countries that have pushed for the EU-instituted ban on the domestic sale of Ukrainian agricultural products in Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Slovakia, currently set to expire by Sep. 15.

The Ukrainian president arrived at the summit in Athens on Aug. 21, planning to meet with Balkan leaders to coordinate European and Euro-Atlantic integration, defense cooperation, and security, as well as separate talks on bilateral issues.

He will also meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, according to his post on Telegram.

Zelensky has already met with the Greek prime minister, who had pledged to assist Ukraine with rebuilding Odesa's historical center, damaged in Russian attacks.

Zelensky also announced that Greece will assist in training Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

Zelensky arrives in Greece for Ukraine-Balkan summit
President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Athens on Aug. 21 to participate in a Ukraine-Balkan summit in Greece, Zelensky said in a video message published on his Telegram channel.
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