During a visit to Bulgaria to show support for the country’s new U.S.-imposed government, Ukrainian President Volodomir Zelensky received a cool reception. In a country where more than 70% of the population opposes military aid to Ukraine, Zelensky came asking for weapons and ammunition, as well as support for Ukraine to join NATO. In a face-to-face meeting, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev rebuked the Ukrainian leader, telling him “this conflict does not have a military solution and more and more weapons will hardly bring to a resolution.”
Zelensky received support from the parties comprising the ruling coalition in the form of a parliamentary resolution supporting Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership once the conflict ends. Still, the Ukrainian president did not address the National Assembly because he feared the cool reception he would receive from the opposition parties who oppose Bulgaria’s involvement in the war in Ukraine.
Bulgaria’s new American-backed prime minister Nikolay Denkov repeated the official talking points from Washington during his meeting with Zelensky. "Bulgaria has been consistent in its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine because we believe that an independent and sovereign Ukraine is key to Euro-Atlantic security in the region,” Denkov declared. “Russia should withdraw unconditionally to its internationally recognized borders, and be duly held accountable, including for war crime.”
Bulgarian President Radev did offer continued support for Ukrainian refugees in the country, but, in face of Zelensky’s protestations, he warned about the dangers of the ongoing conflict. “The risk to security and peace in Europe is growing by the day, including the risk of radioactive contamination," the Bulgarian President told the Ukrainian ruler, “the Ukraine conflict is turning into a war of attrition, a global clash, and worsens social tensions.”
Kostadin Kostadinov, leader of Vazrazhdane, the main opposition party, chided the Ukrainian President, stating “Bulgarians saw how the American political regime, posing as the Bulgarian government, invited the Ukrainian president to read out an American speech, which ended with the phrase 'Glory to Ukraine'. Today, Vazrazhdane's parliamentary group prevented President Volodymyr Zelensky from visiting the National Assembly. The President's visit missed the highest rostrum in Bulgaria because the authorities were scared of the representatives of the Bulgarian citizens in Parliament. The only Bulgarian party in the National Assembly with 37 MPs managed to stop the visit of a man whose visit to Bulgaria does not bode well.”