Sofia, Jul 6 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Bulgaria Thursday on a state visit to shore up support for his country’s Nato membership bid.
Zelesnkyy is due to meet Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov and President Rumen Radev – who last year condemned the Bulgarian government for providing weapons to Ukraine after Russia invaded in February – and other high-ranking government officials, he said in a post on Twitter.
“Defense support, Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration, the NATO Summit (being held next week in Vilnius, security guarantees, and the implementation of the Peace Formula” will be among the main topics discussed during his trip, Zelenskyy said.
The Bulgarian government on Wednesday adopted a draft joint declaration on Ukraine’s accession to NATO “when conditions allow”.
In that statement, Bulgaria pledged its “strong political support for Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression to protect its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Bulgarian parliament is also expected to debate a proposal to support Ukraine’s accession to the Atlantic alliance, put forward by the pro-European Continue with Change party, which governs in a coalition with the center-right GERB party, led by former prime minister Boyko Metodiev Borisov.
In addition to Denkov and Foreign Minister Mariya Gabriel, Zelenskyy will meet with other lawmakers who support Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
The only Bulgarian parties that don’t support the joint declaration are the Socialist Party – the successor to the Communist Party – and ultranationalists Vazrazhdane, which openly supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine has polarized Bulgarian society, a divide that has contributed to a political impasse that led to the Balkan state holding five general elections in the past two years.
Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the European Union, and has provided support to Ukraine by sending and selling military equipment. EFE