BERLIN, January 18. /TASS/. Last spring, Bulgaria secretly provided Ukraine with ammunition, covering about a third of the Ukrainian army’s needs, according to an investigation by WELT, published on Wednesday.
The Bulgarian government authorized middlemen to export, not directly to Ukraine, but to intermediaries abroad, the German daily said. Poland’s Rzeszow airport, located 70 kilometers from the Ukrainian border, played a major role in shipments. Also, overland routes across Romania and Hungary were used. "According to our estimates, about a third of the ammunition needed by the Ukrainian army in the early phase of the war came from Bulgaria," Kiril Petkov, who served as Bulgaria’s PM from December 2021 to August 2022, told WELT.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba confirmed to the German newspaper that Bulgaria had provided the assistance. "We knew that there were large quantities of ammunition needed at Bulgarian warehouses, so [Ukrainian] President [Vladimir] Zelensky sent me so that I could use diplomatic leverage to obtain the necessary material," the Ukrainian diplomat said.
Kuleba visited Sofia last April. Petkov told the Ukrainian minister that the domestic situation was "not easy" but pledged to do "everything in his power". According to Kuleba, the Bulgarian government was not supposed to provide military support directly to Ukraine, but it was rather a matter of "Ukrainian companies and firms from NATO countries being given the opportunity to purchase what was needed from Bulgarian vendors."
According to WELT, the exports were sponsored by Great Britain and the United States.