Bulgaria Has to Be Better NATO Partner, But No Enemy to Russia - President-Elect

Politics | December 15, 2016, Thursday // 09:19| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Has to Be Better NATO Partner, But No Enemy to Russia - President-Elect Bulgaria's President-elect Rumen Radev. File photo, BGNES

Bulgaria is clearly going down a path of pro-European development and does not consider abandoning it, President-elect Rumen Radev has said in an interview.

"We want to affirm our position as a more reliable partner to NATO. This, however, does not mean Bulgaria has to be an enemy to Russia, with which we are linked through substantial economic interests," Radev has told Le Monde newspaper [FR], just over a month before assuming office on January 22.

Radev also comments on his support for the removal of sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, saying they do not solve the problems and hurt not only Russia, but also the EU. Countries that suffer are those with fragile economies as Bulgaria, in his view.

It has "direct consequences" on the country's agriculture, Radev has argued.

But he adds that "historically and culturally, Bulgaria has always been European."

Radev was voted into office after a resounding victory in November over a Tsetska Tsacheva, a candidate pointed by outgoing Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. His win prompted Borisov to resign, with the country now sliding toward an early parliamentary election in the spring.

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Tags: Rumen Radev, NATO, Russia
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