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  • Borislav Ivanov

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev Hasn’t Signed Document Backing Ukraine NATO Membership

Rumen Radev, the president of Bulgaria, stated on the 3rd of October that he won’t join other Central and Eastern European countries’ leaders in signing a declaration in support of Ukraine’s NATO membership as he “did not agree with the full text of the declaration.”

Credit: Bulphoto

After receiving questions from the media on why Radev's name was absent from the list of nine heads of state who endorsed Ukraine in a statement on October 2, Radev's office responded on October 3.

Radev "does not agree with the wording of the proclamation made by various nations in Eastern Europe regarding Ukraine's participation in NATO," according to a statement from his office.

According to the statement, a decision on Ukraine's membership in NATO should be taken "only after the development of clear criteria for the peaceful resolution of the conflict."

However, the statement said that Radev agrees with other points made in the agreement signed by the presidents of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

This happened after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Moscow had annexed four Ukrainian regions that are partially occupied by Russian forces on September 30. At the time, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had just announced that Ukraine had applied for accelerated NATO membership.

The nine leaders of Central and Eastern Europe reaffirmed their support for "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and declared they "do not accept and will never recognize Russian ambitions to annex any Ukrainian land."

The leaders also stated in their declaration that they "strongly supported the 2008 Bucharest NATO Summit resolution regarding Ukraine's eventual membership."

At the 2008 summit, NATO members welcomed Georgia's and Ukraine's aspirations to join, but they chose not to offer a specific timetable for their potential accession. In order to justify starting the continuing full-scale war in February, Putin has pointed to the possible NATO membership of Ukraine.

According to a statement released by Radev's office on October 3, Bulgaria signed the 2008 NATO summit declaration endorsing Ukraine's potential membership. However, it is noted that this declaration was made under very different security conditions.

"Military actions on the territory of Ukraine today require that its membership in the Alliance be discussed within the full composition of [NATO] and not lead to a risk of the direct involvement of NATO countries in the war," the statement added.

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