On Tuesday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said his country has no plans to send heavy weapons to Ukraine. While most NATO countries have followed the US in arming Ukraine, Bulgaria has held out, limiting its assistance to humanitarian aid and repairing some Ukrainian military equipment.
“We’ll do what we have promised to do and there’s no need to reignite the debate every two weeks,” Petkov said. “We’ve supported the incoming refugees, we have sent all kinds of humanitarian aid, we have also been involved with repairing Ukraine’s heavy weapons and we’re in line with all sanctions against Russia.”
Petkov added that Bulgaria has “done enough” and will continue supporting Ukraine as it has been doing. The Bulgarian leader had previously favored sending arms to Ukraine but had to drop the plan over the opposition from parties in his coalition government. The parties eventually agreed that they wouldn’t send arms or ammunition.
Petkov’s comments came after Ukraine’s ambassador in Bulgaria asked for heavy weapons. “Now is the time when we need the weapons that Bulgaria has,” said Ambassador Vitaly Moskalenko.
Bulgaria’s stance on weapons is another example of the growing divisions between NATO and EU members over what level of support they should be providing Ukraine. France, Germany, and Italy have been calling for negotiations to end the war and have been more cautious about sending heavy weapons. The US, Britain, the Baltic states, and several Eastern European countries have been more eager to send advanced arms and have been discouraging peace talks.