Bulgarian authorities still do not officially recognize arms exports to Ukraine – EURACTIV.com

Bulgarian politicians directly involved still do not admit that they know that Ukraine is the final destination for Bulgaria’s record arms exports in 2022.

“Our partners [ukrainiens] bought the weapons from the industry [de l’armement]. Some of the weapons went to the Ukrainian army, but not because Bulgaria exported them [directement vers l’Ukraine]but because of what our partners import to Ukraine”former prime minister Kiril Petkov said on Wednesday (January 18). “Only the Ukrainian government has information about the number of weapons [bulgares] came to Ukraine »he added.

The issue of fuel and arms exports to Ukraine was one of the main issues in the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday. The reason why this topic came up was the publication of an article in a German newspaper Die Weltit says that Bulgaria secretly saved Ukraine in the early months of the war.

The German newspaper claims that this happened thanks to the export of diesel fuel and Soviet-style weapons in the early stages of the war. The refusal of then Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov to directly engage in military aid to Kiev from the beginning of the Russian aggression could be explained by the resistance of the pro-Russian Bulgarian Socialist Party, which was in power at the time. coalition.

On Wednesday, EURACTIV Bulgaria published a survey showing the lack of state support for oil exports to Ukraine. The fuel was mainly produced by the Bulgarian subsidiary of the Russian oil company Lukoil, which sold it to Ukraine through Bulgaria.

The increase in oil exports did not actually occur in the first phases of the war, but in the second and third phases, when Russia attacked Ukraine’s vital infrastructure. Last October, the indirect export of Bulgarian arms to Ukraine in 2022 was a record amount and worth at least one billion euros.

Daily Die Welt emphasizes that Mr. Petkov’s government has resorted to it “Intermediary companies in Bulgaria and abroad should open air and land supply routes through Romania, Hungary and Poland. » This is a rumor in Bulgarian society, although the government has not officially confirmed it.

“Bulgaria should have taken an honest position and made it clear that we support Ukraine in every way. This is our national interest.”, said Hristo Ivanov, co-chairman of the center-right electoral alliance “Democratic Bulgaria”. He also said that it is necessary to go through intermediaries to hide exports to Ukraine, thus causing financial losses to Bulgarian military companies. Mr. Ivanov himself was not part of Kirill Petkov’s government, but his party was one of the coalition partners.

“The hypocrisy cost money, but the main thing is that everything happened”Mr. Ivanov argued.

Asen Vasilev, co-chairman of the We Continue Change liberal coalition and a former deputy prime minister in Mr. Petkov’s government, said indirect exports are normal practice for Bulgaria’s military industry. “Bulgaria’s military industry has always worked with contractors. They are mostly private.”, – said Mr. Vasilev. He also confirmed that Bulgaria has never directly exported weapons to Ukraine. The GERB party (affiliated to the EPP) took the opportunity to attack the former leaders.

“The big problem is why Kirill Petkov and [l’ancienne ministre de l’Économie et leader du Parti socialiste] Cornelia Ninova lied[sur les exportations d’armes vers l’Ukraine]», – said Daniel Mitov from the GERB party. Ivan Chenchev from the Socialist Party of Bulgaria confirmed this once again “Not a single shell was exported” to Ukraine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *