Bulgaria Should Respect Its Own Family, Says President
Bulgaria will never recognize Crimea's annexation to Russia, President Rosen Plevneliev vowed.
Speaking in Bulgarian National Television's weekly Panorama program, he made clear that Bulgaria should realize it now has a family, which is the European Union.
"Bulgarian minority and Bulgarians, wherever they are across the world, will be protected when Bulgaria is strong and integrated into a strong European Union," Plevneliev added.
In his opinion, Crimea's move to break away from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation was "a violation of international law".
He further justified his stance that Crimea's incorporation into Russia should not be accepted by Bulgaria by expressing his belief that "Crimea is part of Ukraine, and Ukraine is Europe".
"We cannot remain at the bottom of European politics, we cannot hide and bend down waiting for the storm to pass," Bulgaria's President asserted.
Speaking of "not bending down waiting form the storm to pass", he was referring to Bulgaria's one-time communist ruler Todor Zhivkov, who used the expression to describe Bulgaria's possible reaction to events disintegrating the Soviet bloc in the late 1980s. Since then, Zhivkov's words have often been quoted as an example of Bulgaria's stances on foreign affairs.
Plevneliev also commented on widely disputed domestic matters that have divided opinion in Bulgaria over the past week.
On Thursday's the head of state issued a decree appointing 15 members of the Central Electoral Commission, 6 of which came from the biggest opposition party (and the biggest parliamentary group) GERB, 5 from the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, 1 each from ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and ultra-nationalist Ataka, and two more from parties not in Parliament but with MEPs, namely the National Movement for Stability and Progress (NDSV) and the right-wing Blue coalition.
This infuriated the ruling BSP and its backers from DPS, with MPs from both parties claiming that they had been deprived of one electoral committee member and the President's actions had violated the Election code.
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