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Zelensky meets with Bulgarian PM in Kyiv

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President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov in Kyiv on Feb. 26, after Denkov arrived in the capital earlier in the day along with a delegation of Bulgarian officials.

It was Denkov’s first visit to Ukraine since he became the head of Bulgaria’s government in June 2023. Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who left office in August 2022, visited Ukraine in April of that year.

Initially a hesitant partner, Bulgaria has become increasingly supportive of Ukraine as the war has progressed. Denkov’s government took a decisively pro-Kyiv stance and committed arms supplies to Ukraine, despite opposition from Bulgarian President Rumen Radev (not to be confused with the country’s energy minister of the same name).

Zelensky thanked Denkov for “fruitful and practical talks” and expressed his appreciation for Bulgaria’s support in helping “to expand trade flows and restore normal shipping in the Black Sea and Danube regions.”

In turn, Denkov thanked Zelensky for the invitation to Kyiv, saying it “allowed me to see with my own eyes and feel with my heart your unjust suffering, but also your heroism and determination to conquer the future you long for.”

Earlier in the day, Denkov visited the site of Russian attacks against Kyiv’s Solomianskyi District on Jan. 2 in which two people were killed and dozens more injured.

Denkov also paid tribute to fallen Ukrainian soldiers along with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal.

As Bulgaria’s government increasingly turns away from its historical ally Russia, it continues to face issues with Russian intelligence infiltration at home.

Bulgaria’s security service announced in the morning of Feb. 26 that it had banned two Russian citizens from entering the EU over their suspected role in intelligence operations in Bulgaria.

Read also: Bulgaria’s Soviet stockpiles and large defense industry may be key to Ukraine’s success

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