The petition of 50 National Assembly deputies to declare the decision to increase Bulgaria’s defense capabilities and provide military and military-technical assistance to Ukraine as unconstitutional was denied by the Constitutional Court of Bulgaria, according to the institution’s press service. The decision was approved in November and December of last year.
The court halted the case’s proceedings. This court’s judgment received nine “for” votes and one “against” vote.
Bulgaria was one of the few EU countries not to send aid after the Socialist Party, a coalition partner in the previous government, blocked an offer in May.
Secret and open supply
As soon as the parliament authorized the list of weaponry compiled by the interim administration on December 9, 2022, Bulgaria delivered the first military assistance to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion.
Although government officials stated that Sofia would provide primarily light weapons and ammunition, the agency claims that the list of weapons is classified.
Of 240 lawmakers, 148 voted in favor of the help, while the Socialists and the pro-Russian Renaissance party abstained.
Since the Socialist Party, a coalition partner in the previous government, refused an offer in May, Bulgaria was among the few EU nations to decide against sending aid.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Bulgaria secretly supported Ukraine in the form of ammunition and diesel fuel during the crucial months of the war.
It was thought that Bulgaria forwent providing Kyiv with weapons. Nonetheless, the research reveals that Sofia provided the Ukrainian military with around 40% of the required tanks and vehicles from April to August.
On April 28, when Prime Minister Kyril Petkov visited Kyiv, it was stated that Bulgaria would fix Ukrainian military hardware.
It should be highlighted that the Bulgarian government had already started the process of giving Ukraine all-encompassing military support.
Via intermediaries, ammunition and weapons were delivered to Ukraine, and Bulgaria provided for around one-third of total army requirements. The USA and the UK shared the cost of the delivery.
Influence of the help on the parliamentary elections
The supply of weapons may affect the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, which will most likely occur in late March – early April. After Petkov’s government was dismissed in the summer of 2022, a new one was never formed in the country. Petkov and Vasylev’s We Continue Changes party and its liberal-democratic allies Democratic Bulgaria have a good chance of getting the mandate to form a government again.
Bulgarians, who started the vote of no confidence in Petkov’s administration, are “weary of political crises and corruption scandals surrounding Boyko Borisov,” the long-serving prime minister from the GERB party (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria), according to Johanna Daimel.
Bulgaria helps Ukraine much more than it seems
The Bulgarian government has approved 37 million levs (about $20 million) of additional funding for humanitarian support of Ukrainians who have found temporary refuge there on 21 December 2022.
Asen Vasiliev, the finance minister, and acting prime minister Petkov at the time supported the country’s position. Vasiliev persuaded EU nations to cut off Russia from the Swift payment system and freeze European bonds issued by the Russian central bank from the beginning of the war. The European Commission eventually backed this action.