The big news today was the arrival of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and the Bulgarian delegation (formed by representatives from all ruling parties except the Bulgarian Socialist Party) in Kyiv. "The whole world is in solidarity with Ukraine, including Bulgaria. I am very grateful to you and your country. We discussed all the key issues today. Ukraine needs the support of reliable friends," President Zelensky said at a joint briefing after meeting Mr Petkov.
PM Petkov: Ukraine will be victor
During the meeting, Mr Petkov pointed out that Bulgaria can help Ukraine by repairing Ukrainian military equipment. For his part, Zelensky said that Ukraine is ready to supply Bulgaria with electricity, to assist in gas diversification. "We agreed to transport agricultural products through the port of Varna. Ukraine will provide cooperation to Bulgarian vessels that are blocked in Black Sea ports," Zelensky said.
"I want to thank you for your leadership. Ukraine will win this war. I have no doubt about that. All democracies are behind you," Mr Petkov told Mr Zelensky. The Bulgarian Prime Minister also said that he supports Ukraine's bid for EU membership. "Anyone who believes that he is part of the free world must stand behind Ukraine, even if he does not feel personally threatened," added Mr Petkov.
Ninova seeks restoration of Gazprom's supplies
For the first time in a decade, the Bulgarian government had a clear position on Bulgaria's energy dependence on Russia - yesterday PM Kiril Petkov and Finance Minister Assen Vassilev said the country has a plan for alternative energy supplies. Against this background, the leader of BSP Kornelia Ninova, who is also an Economic Minister, called for the restoration of the supplies of Russian energy under the existing contract, after a meeting with employers' organizations. Ninova also called for a freeze on gas prices - with any differential in real terms to be borne by the state.
Bulgaria receives 148 mln euro from Brussels for Ukrainian refugees
The European Commission announced that it had transferred more than 148 million euros to Bulgaria to provide living and working conditions for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the country. According to the Bulgarian government, there are currently 96,164 Ukrainian refugees in Bulgaria, of whom 87,534 have requested European temporary protection, which gives them access to the Bulgarian labor market, education, and healthcare.