Dimitar Stoyanov, the minister of defence for Bulgaria, visited Kyiv and met with Oleksii Reznikov, the former defence minister of Ukraine. He expressed gratitude to Bulgaria for donating $500 million in humanitarian relief.
Reznikov said that Ukraine is appreciative of Bulgaria’s decision to offer security support and that they look forward to expanding their defence cooperation.
Honored to welcome Minister of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria 🇧🇬 Dimitar Stoyanov @BulgariaMod in Ukraine.
Grateful for Bulgaria’s decision to provide security assistance to 🇺🇦
Looking forward to further developing 🇺🇦🇧🇬 defence cooperation pic.twitter.com/BRnQENutKi
— Oleksii Reznikov (@oleksiireznikov) December 19, 2022
This humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian army’s defence against Russian aggression includes 2,000 helmets, 2,000 bulletproof vests, 350 medical kits, 5,000 sets of winter apparel, and 5,000 pairs of winter shoes.
According to minister Stoyanov, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 22, Bulgaria has sent Ukraine 448 million leva in humanitarian help. Additionally, it is planned for up to 50 Bulgarian military personnel to participate in weapons and equipment training on the soil of EU member states or in Bulgaria.
According to the announcement, five Bulgarian military members will be transferred to the General Military Training Command in Poland, the Specialized Training Command in Germany, and the Unit for Military Planning and Conduct of Military Missions of the EU in Belgium.
Up to 60 combat medics from the Ukrainian armed forces are expected to receive training in Bulgaria each year to strenength Ukrainian army’s capability to stand against Russian agression.
However, the government’s assistance to Ukraine has angered Bulgarian residents. Several rallies were organised over the previous few days in Sofia and Burgas against the government’s plan to provide guns and ammunition to Ukraine.
People claim that since Russia is an ally of Bulgaria, the government shouldn’t support Ukraine because it would worsen relations between the two countries.
Some Bulgarians contend that by continuously supplying Ukraine with weaponry, the EU is encouraging war and that Ukraine is to blame for the current conflict. They emphasised that Bulgaria should stop providing Ukraine since doing so could endanger its own security.