Ukraine. Welt: Bulgaria secretly provided military aid to Kiev

Ukraine.  Welt: Bulgaria secretly provided military aid to Kiev

Ukraine. Welt: Bulgaria secretly provided military aid to Kiev

In the first months of the war in Ukraine, then Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov and Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vasiliev initiated the transfer of significant military aid to Kiev, the German daily Welt wrote. Politicians did not inform the public about this and did so against the will of President Rumen Radev, as well as coalition socialists.

When Prime Minister Kirill Petkov traveled to Kiev on April 28 last year to reassure President Volodymyr Zelensky of his support, he had little to offer. At least officially. His coalition partner in Sofia, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, in solidarity with Russia strongly refused to supply arms to Ukraine. Meanwhile, thanks to the secret initiative of Petkov and Finance Minister Asen Vasiliev Bulgaria for several months, from April to August, it provided Ukraine with about a third of its ammunition supply and about 40 percent of tank fuel, Welt reported.

“This is the story of a secret strategy to help Ukraine against all odds. One of the poorest countries of the European Union, which as a country of the former Eastern Bloc was considered submissive to Moscow for a long time, has found courage. Bulgaria has thus shown other countries that despite dependence on Russia and fear of Putin’s aggression, there are creative ways to stand by Kiev’s side.

Ukrainian forces in the Donetsk region PAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

As it was added, the courage of the authorities in Sofia was all the greater because in the spring and summer of 2022, Bulgaria processed only crude oil from Russia in its refineries.

“Welt”: Moscow probably did not know what Bulgaria was doing

The unexpected help received from Sofia at a key moment in the war was confirmed in an interview with “Welt” by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba. “Petkov showed integrity and I will always be grateful to him for using all his political skills to find a solution. While some members of the Bulgarian coalition (ruling – ed.) sided with Russia, Petkov decided to find the right side of history and help us defend ourselves against a much stronger enemy, stressed the Ukrainian diplomat.

As “Welt” reported, the authorities in Moscow probably did not know about the Bulgarian deliveries of diesel fuel to Ukraine. The costs of transferring ammunition and military equipment supplied by third countries were covered by USA and Great Britain.

“When Petkov and Zelensky appeared (in April last year – ed.) together in front of the cameras, they announced an agreement that sounded quite strange. Bulgaria will repair Ukrainian military equipment – they both said, then smiled and shook hands. (.. .) Meanwhile, the Bulgarian government had already initiated a comprehensive military aid procedure,” the German daily reported.

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK

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