Bulgarian PM in Kyiv: “Ukraine Will Win This War, All Democratic Forces Support It” – wrap-up

Bulgarian Prime Minister Petkov Thursday visited Ukraine leading a delegation of representatives of three of the four parties in the government coalition. At a joint news briefing following a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, he said, “Ukraine will win in this war. All democratic forces support it.”
The aim of the visit is to see first-hand the destruction caused by the war, Petkov told the press. 
The delegation includes Defence Minister Dragomir Zakov, MPs Kaloyan Ikonomov (Continue the Change), Stanislav Balabanov (There Is Such a People) and Atanas Atanassov (Democratic Bulgaria), and the Foreign Ministry’s Situation Centre Director Anton Markov. They were in Kyiv and also travelled to the towns of Borodyanka, Bucha and Irpin, all of them in Kyiv Province, where the wounds from the Russian aggression are striking.
Footage of the visit was provided by the government press office and the joint news briefing of Petkov and Zelenskyy was broadcast live by bTV. 
Petkov – Zelenskyy news briefing
President Zelenskyy said there that he signed with Prime Minister Petkov a joint declaration on the European prospects of Ukraine.  “Ukraine needs support for its European future,” said Zelenskyy. 
He also said: “Ukraine defends the values of all Europe, of the whole world. People are being killed and buildings destroyed but we are holding up. I feel that the entire world supports Ukraine, including Bulgaria.” 
Petkov said that it is important for Bulgaria to make sure Ukraine sees a clear path to the EU.
Zelenskyy also said that his country is thankful for the support for Ukrainian refugees.
He said that Ukraine is ready to supply electricity to Bulgaria and cooperate with it in the transfer of natural gas. Kiril Petkov commented that it will give Bulgaria additional electricity and at the same time provide Ukraine with fresh capital that it badly needs. He said that Bulgaria will help Ukrainian electricity reach the rest of the Balkans as well. In his words, his country will be happy to turn Varna into a logistical hub for grain and sunflower, which can be redistributed from here.
Bulgaria can also play a key role in supporting Ukraine by using the trans-Balkan pipeline to deliver gas to Ukraine from the terminals in Greece and Turkey, said Petkov. 
He added that there are factories in Bulgaria that can repair heavy-duty Ukrainian equipment and said that he would ask the Bulgarian Parliament to give an approval. 
He said that Bulgaria will do its best to participate in the post-war reconstruction effort.
Asked about the Bulgarian aid for Ukraine, Zelenskyy said that he meant it when he thanked the Prime Minister “who really helps us” rather than only make promises. 
Each country helps with what it can, he added. “Sometimes one country or another has a thousand planes and would not give one. And other countries might not have as much but give more. This is why I believe that Bulgaria is among the friendly countries in the second list I just mentioned. They support us in different ways: through the sanctions, by backing our EU accession or repairing critical equipment that can protect the life of people today. This is also support, support in defence,” said Zelenskyy.
Invitation to join post-war recovery
Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers said in a Facebook post later in the day that “in a token of gratitude for Bulgaria’s support, Ukrainian President Zelenskyy extended an invitation to Prime Minister Petkov for Bulgarian companies to join a programme for Ukraine’s post-war recovery”. The post specifies that Bulgaria will be among only few countries on that list. 
Ukraine’s Infrastructure Minister personally committed to handle the intricate operation of helping the evacuation of the Bulgarian ship Rojen from the Black Sea port of Chernomorsk and the return of the vessel together with its crew to Bulgaria.
At the joint news conference, Petkov thanked the Ukrainian President for Ukraine’s efforts to rescue Rojen.
At their session, Zelenskyy and Petkov discussed a possibility for the repair of Ukrainian military equipment at Bulgarian military industrial plants, the post said further.
In Borodyanka and Bucha
In Bucha, the Bulgarian officials visited a mass grave. Petkov said: “Everybody should face their conscience and think what kind of person they are, what their values and principles are, do they want to be a coward and keep their head down, and do they believe that not supporting Ukraine is the best for Bulgaria, despite the fact that 97 people are buried under our feet.”
Atanassov said that despite the quarrels in Bulgarian politics, the National Assembly will make a civilizational choice and support the victim, Ukraine.
Balabanov said that those buried in Bucha are “people like us” who “never imagined this could happen in the 21st century”. 
Petkov added that there is no political divide when it comes to human values. He does not think the Government will fall if Bulgarian military aid for Ukraine is put to the vote in Parliament. 
Visiting the town of Borodyanka, where the devastating impact of the war in Ukraine is clear to see, Petkov told journalists that “we cannot say that the war is Ukraine’s problem and that we do not care when people are dying”. As a part of the democratic world and the EU, we will stand by Ukraine. This is not just Ukraine’s battle: this is a civilizational choice on whose side we wish to stand, Petkov said.