Monday evening and Tuesday were dominated by the state's unsuccessful attempt to move more than 30,000 Ukrainian refugees from privately owned seaside hotels to state-owned holiday residences in the interior. "The Bulgarian state cannot continue funding this luxurious accommodation [of refugees]," Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told the National Radio on Tuesday.
Refugee resettlement plan falters, with state blaming Ukrainians
The state's failure to move Ukrainian asylum seekers caused a clash between members of the Ukrainian community and Bulgarian volunteers, on one side, and Deputy Prime Minister Kalina Konstantinova, responsible for the organization of the accommodation and integration of refugees, on the other.
In a recorded statement from last evening, Ms Konstantinova sought to excuse the state's failure to relocate Ukrainians by blaming their demands rather than institutional failings. She threatened that those refugees who decline resettlement to state-owned holiday properties would be sent to closed-off refugee centers near Burgas and on the Turkish border. This caused a backlash, with both Ukrainians and Bulgarian helpers calling for Ms Kostadinova's resignation.
Bulgaria will receive a 2-year derogation from EU petrol embargo on Russia: Petkov
A day after European leaders agreed to introduce an import ban on all Russian petrol transported via seafaring routes that ought to lead to a 90 percent reduction of oil imports from Russia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters that Sofia will receive a two-year derogation to the ban for its Burgas port. If this promise materializes after the EU Foreign Ministers Council on Wednesday, the country will remain the sole importer of oil over a sea route and one of four (alongside Hungary, Czechia and Slovakia) to continue Russian oil imports for the next two years.
Dutch F-35s to end air policing duties over Bulgaria, uncertainty who will take over
It is unclear which NATO ally will take over Holland's duty to help protect Bulgarian skies after 31 May - the last day for the deployment of Dutch F-35 fighter jets at Graf Ignatiev Air Base. This was announced by Defense Minister Dragomir Zakov during a forum on the Ukraine war organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the French Embassy on Wednesday, according to the Sega newspaper. "Bulgaria will continue to receive help. It will not be left alone", Mr Zakov assured. One option is Turkish support - the visit of the Chief of General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces Yasar Guler to Bulgaria pointed in this direction. Such a move, however, would likely prompt a public backlash because of historic tensions in Bulgarian-Turkish relations.