Being EU Member Guarantees Prosperity, Security - Bulgarian President
According to Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, being a member of the EU is the only only way forward for achieving prosperity, safety and security.
Plevneliev wants Bulgaria to be a proud member of the EU and not subordinate to one of the world powers.
The Bulgarian president said this in an interview for Euronews broadcasted on Thursday. The interview is part of “The Global Conversation” series in which world leaders are questioned on global problems.
The main topics discussed in the interview are the migrant crisis, Ukraine and relations with the EU and Russia.
Large part of the interview is devoted to Plevneliev's recent visit to Ukraine where he was presented with the “Person of the Year” award in recognition of his support for the sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine.
The Bulgarian president expresses concern about the Russian behaviour, not just its involvement in Ukraine, but generally.
According to him, the Russian policy based on its ambitions as a world power and its spheres of influence is a very wrong one and should stay back in the 19th century.
In his opinion, in the 21st century nations should be strong with the success of their people rather than with their armies.
Plevneliev makes it clear that he wants to maintain friendly relations with everyone, including Russia, noting his love for Russian culture and people.
However he can not agree with the violation of international law and order and the renewal of frozen conflicts.
As regards the counter-measures introduced by Russia in response to the sanctions imposed by the EU, he notes that Bulgaria, in particular its agriculture and tourism, has sustained significant losses.
Turning to energy, Plevneliev notes Bulgaria's dependence on Russian gas supplies and the attempts of the country to find alternatives.
This is being sought by projects such as the construction of gas interconnectors with neighbouring countries like Romania and Greece.
He identified the European energy union as key in triggering the new engine of integration.
The head of state assured that Bulgaria will fulfill its commitments to redistribute migrants in compliance with the EU quotas. He added that Bulgarian authorities are treating seriously all signals of migrant abuses at the borders.
In his view, the agreement between the EU and Turkey on the return of migrants is necessary for ensuring European security.
Plevneliev made it clear that the fence at the border with Turkey is only a temporary facility which is to serve its temporary means during the migrant crisis. Other than that, he is firmly against the building of walls and borders.
According to him, the greatest challenges that threaten to destroy the EU are the moral crisis and lack of solidarity within the EU.
See the full interview here.
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