Bulgaria is expected to start providing military aid to Ukraine as a parliamentary decision is due to be taken this week, announced Democratic Bulgaria co-leader Atanas Atanasov, who is part of the ruling coalition.
Bulgaria is governed by a four-party coalition that includes the pro-Russian Socialist Party (BSP), which opposes arms sales to Ukraine. Atanasov claims that Parliament can make a decision with the support of the GERB and MRF opposition.
“The issue is being discussed in Parliament. A vote will take place this week,” Atanasov said in an interview with bTV.
The MP said Parliament must show Bulgaria that it is part of the western world that supports democracy.
Bulgaria will not send Russian MiG-29 fighter jets and S-300 missiles to Ukraine as it would significantly reduce its defense capability, although it will export ammunition and small arms. If Parliament decides to send military aid, the funds will come from the Bulgarian budget, the EU and NATO.
“I am aware that the BSP will not support this decision, but GERB and MRF said they are ready to provide support. We should not split into factions on this issue. I am sure that next week Bulgaria will make a decision to provide military-technical assistance to Ukraine,” Atanasov predicted.
Bulgarian society is sensitive to the issue of sending military aid to Ukraine, with almost 70% wanting Sofia to remain neutral in the conflict. The pro-Russian nationalist Vazrazhdane party has a strong social media presence. She claims that if Bulgaria sends military aid to Kyiv, it will become a direct participant in the military conflict.