Bulgarian Parliament supports Ukraine’s accession to NATO

The Foreign Policy Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament approved a draft declaration by a group of coalition parties expressing support for Ukraine’s accession to NATO after the war.

Parliament’s declaration demands the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine

According to BNT, the declaration approved by the Bulgarian MPs states that the most direct way to restore peace in Ukraine and Europe is Russia’s complete and immediate withdrawal beyond the internationally recognised borders of all sovereign states affected by it.

The document also calls on the allies for continued military and technical support for Ukraine.

The co-chair of Democratic Bulgaria, Hristo Ivanov, told reporters that the declaration is a sign to Ukraine that, once peace returns, it will be able to count on Bulgaria’s support for its NATO membership.

It has yet to be specified whether the resolution supporting Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance will be put to a vote in Parliament.

Earlier, the parliaments of several NATO member states adopted declarations in support of Ukraine’s membership, including calls for a political decision to be announced at the upcoming summit in Vilnius.

Ukraine’s accession to NATO: story of statements

On 11-12 July, the NATO Summit will take place in Vilnius. At the summit, Ukraine expects concrete decisions on its path to joining the Alliance. On 23 May, Ukraine’s ambassador to NATO, Natalia Galibarenko, said that in the context of the upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius, Ukraine was preparing two cooperation packages – political and practical – to be discussed.

In turn, on 30 May, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba announced three steps for the success of the Vilnius Summit: “Strengthen institutional ties and assistance between Ukraine and NATO. Take a step towards Ukraine’s membership in NATO. Provide security guarantees on Ukraine’s path to NATO”.

On 10 June, Ukraine’s Deputy Defence Minister Volodymyr Havrylov expressed his belief that the July NATO summit in Vilnius would set out the algorithm for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. Subsequently, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg says that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance but that it is impossible to give exact dates of accession while the country is at war.

On 15 June, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for Ukraine’s membership in NATO with 425 votes in favour. The next day, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba urged Stoltenberg to abandon the Membership Action Plan (MAP) if Ukraine joined NATO.

In return, US President Joe Biden said he would not mind removing the MAP stage for Ukraine’s accession to NATO. This would mean an easing of the accession procedure.

Later, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is a vital part of Europe’s defence and called on the allies to invite the country to join NATO. On 27 June, he noted that Ukraine has every reason to receive a political invitation to join NATO at the summit in Vilnius. And British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly assured that the country would support Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance under a simplified procedure.

On 28 June, during a speech in Parliament on the occasion of Constitution Day, Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed five points of the Ukrainian Doctrine, which stipulates that Ukraine’s future lies in the European Union and NATO.

On 30 June, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said that NATO member states were close to a consensus on Ukraine’s accession to NATO without a Membership Action Plan.

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