In Bulgaria: NATO Declares Full Support for Ukraine Until Victory

Ukraine | May 28, 2024, Tuesday // 08:42|  views

From Sofia, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly issued a strong appeal to the governments of the Alliance member countries to bolster their support for Ukraine. This call to action was made clear during a forum preceding the NATO summit in Washington. The Assembly adopted a declaration of support for Kyiv until victory, emphasizing that Ukraine should be able to strike legitimate military targets on Russian territory using the military aid provided by its allies.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who was present in Bulgaria for the forum, addressed concerns about the potential deployment of training missions to Ukraine. He assured that no such missions would be sent but highlighted the importance of timely aid to Ukraine. Stoltenberg noted a positive trend in defense spending, with the number of countries allocating 2% of their GDP to defense increasing from three in 2014 to 19 currently.

Acting Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev underscored that Bulgaria's NATO membership was not only a civilizational choice but also facilitated numerous reforms in the country. He dismissed rumors about sending Bulgarian soldiers to Ukraine, calling them a "typical example of a hybrid attack and disinformation." Glavchev reassured Bulgarian citizens that such a topic had never been discussed within NATO.

Stoltenberg pointed out that NATO's support for Ukraine needs to be more coordinated, accountable, and predictable. He praised Bulgaria as a reliable ally, noting its significant increase in defense spending, which now reaches 2% of GDP. He acknowledged that although 99% of military aid to Ukraine has been provided by NATO, there has been a notable delay in delivering promised support in recent months. The United States, for instance, took six months to negotiate a new aid package, while European allies have yet to deliver on their promise of 1 million rounds of ammunition.

Michal Szczerba, President of the NATO PA, emphasized the urgency of aiding Ukraine, stating, "Ukraine needs our help not in two years, not in two months, not even in two weeks, they need it now." Stoltenberg echoed this sentiment, stressing the need for a longer-term aid plan. He also highlighted the increasing alliance between Russia and China, with China providing 90% of the microelectronics that Russia receives. Without this economic support from China, Russia would struggle to maintain its war efforts against Ukraine. Iran's supply of drones to Russia was also noted as a significant factor.

During his private meeting with Stoltenberg, Acting Prime Minister Glavchev reiterated Bulgaria's commitment to NATO and refuted claims that Bulgarian soldiers would be sent to Ukraine. He clarified that NATO had no plans to conduct training missions within Ukraine itself, with exercises being conducted outside the country. Stoltenberg further emphasized that NATO's focus is on providing weapons and ammunition to support Ukraine's defense efforts.

Stoltenberg also highlighted the geopolitical implications of the conflict, noting that NATO is monitoring countries in the Asia-Pacific region that support Russia in the war. He stressed the importance of unity within NATO and the need for member states to increase their defense investments. The upcoming NATO summit in Washington is expected to focus on strengthening the defense capabilities of member countries, supporting Ukraine, and enhancing global partnerships, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Acting Prime Minister Glavchev concluded by expressing Bulgaria's expectation that the Washington meeting will address the security concerns of the Black Sea and Western Balkans regions. Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO's commitment to Ukraine, stating that the alliance's support should be more systematic and reliable. He praised Bulgaria's contributions and expressed satisfaction with the country's efforts within the alliance.

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Tags: NATO, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Stoltenberg

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