Kyiv, 10 December 2023 (TDI): Bulgaria will send its first military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion after parliament on Friday approved a list of arms involving a classified list of weapons prepared by the interim government.
Being a coalition member in the previous administration, the Russia-friendly Socialist party had opposed a prior plan in May, making it one of the few EU nations not to send aid.
Furthermore, after months of political arguing in the NATO member state for the Balkans, the National Assembly voted 148-46 to send the weapons to Kyiv with one abstention.
Before this, Bulgaria had consented to repair Ukrainian defense equipment at its facilities; however, because of resistance from President Rumen Radev and the nation’s pro-Moscow political parties, it refused to transfer military aid directly.
Bulgaria was the only member of the European Union, along with Hungary, to first resist supplying Ukraine with weapons after Russia invaded.
Dimitar Stoyanov, Defense Minister of Bulgaria, said in an interview that the aid “is fully aligned with Ukraine’s priorities” but added that Bulgaria will neither provide MiG-29s fighter jets nor S-300 missile systems.
Additionally, lawmakers approved an agreement on transferring weapons, gear, and ammunition between the defense ministries of Ukraine and Bulgaria. Up to 60 members of the Ukrainian armed forces will receive combat medic training as part of the agreement.
Ukraine-Russia conflict that started in February 2022 following a full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia has lead to 10,065 civilian casualties in Ukraine, according to a report by UN human rights office. Over 10 million have been forced to flee their homes, including over 6.3 million who have sought refuge outside Ukraine.