Bulgaria has announced that it will not provide fighters or tanks to Ukraine, despite the European Union’s plans to finance the shipment of arms to Ukraine with Community money. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev declared that Bulgaria will also withdraw from the joint programme, although it will still support European diplomatic efforts to restore peace in Ukraine. As long as there is an interim government, Bulgaria will not supply Ukraine with combat aircraft, anti-aircraft missile systems, tanks, and armored personnel carriers. This was a significant setback for Ukraine’s war effort.
Meanwhile, Ukraine received a diplomatic boost from Japan with the visit of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Japan is known for its pacifist principles and provides limited support to Ukraine in the form of equipment such as helmets, vests, bulletproof and drones, and humanitarian supplies, including generators. Japan has provided more than $7 billion to Ukraine and taken in over 2,000 Ukrainian refugees, a rare move in a country known for its strict immigration policy.
The diplomatic support from Japan is a significant gesture for Ukraine, which continues to face challenges in its conflict with Russia. While Bulgaria’s decision not to provide arms sends a message that countries in the EU may have differing views on Ukraine’s conflict, the continued support of countries like Japan reinforces Ukraine’s position as they strive for peace and stability.