Who Is Stefan Yanev - New Bulgarian Caretaker Prime Minister?

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 11, 2021, Tuesday // 23:08
Bulgaria: Who Is Stefan Yanev - New Bulgarian Caretaker Prime Minister? facebook

The caretaker Prime Minister, General of the Reserve Stefan Yanev is 60 years old and has been in the military for 31 years. Since May 10, 2017, he has been the Secretary of the President for Security and Defense.

For the last time, he was in the spotlights of the media during the changes last summer in the Law on the National Security Service, which Rumen Radev vetoed, but the MPs overruled his veto. Yanev commented on Radev's motives and explained why it was a mistake that the veto was not accepted.

In the caretaker government of Ognyan Gerdzhikov, Stefan Yanev was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense and as such was directly responsible for the organization of the general elections in April 2017. There was no serious criticism of his role, but this is not the case with regard to the post of Defense Minister. Yanev has been criticized for allowing the choice of a fighter jet for the needs of the Bulgarian army to be predetermined as Defense Minister.

In the last days of the caretaker government, the commission in the Ministry of Defense, working on the topic, proposed to negotiate a deal with the Swedish company SAAB for "Gripen". The GERB government accused the president and Yanev of lobbying the decision, and ultimately made a new procedure.

The offer of the American "Lockheed Martin" for the F-16 Block 70 was chosen in the second procedure. Stefan Yanev did not accept the criticism, pointing out that the final decision was left in the hands of the regular government.

Yanev graduated from the artillery military school in Shumen and began building a career in the army in 1983, when he was appointed commander of an artillery platoon in Asenovgrad.

In ten years he became a division commander, and joined the Ministry of Defense for his good English, and in 1996 became an expert in the International Cooperation Directorate. At that time, Bulgaria was already participating in NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

From 1998 to 2000, Stefan Yanev worked as an analysis officer at NATO Headquarters in Mons, Belgium, after which he was appointed Senior Assistant in the Strategies and Doctrines Department of the Defense and Armed Forces Planning Directorate. In the following years he held various positions in the Ministry of Defense.

In 2004 he was a student at the Military College at the National Military University in Washington, USA, majoring in National Security Strategies. The following year, he became head of the Transformation Department at the NATO Counter-Terrorism Center in Ankara, Turkey.

In 2007 he was Director of Defense Policy at the Ministry of Defense. According to his colleagues from the ministry, he was close to the Minister of Defense in the triple coalition Nikolay Tsonev (2008-2009).

He became a brigadier-general in July 2009. From 2011 to 2014 he was a military attache in the United States. According to  publication by 24 Chasa newspaper in December 2011, Yanev was recommended by Washington for the position of Deputy Chief of Defense and even for head of the Military Information Service.

After returning to Bulgaria, Yanev briefly became head of the National Military University (May 2014 - June 2014). According to publications, he arrived at the Vasil Levski National Military University in Veliko Tarnovo on May 8, accepted the post at a solemn ceremony, but immediately afterwards applied for leave and left for Sofia to apply for retirement.

He speaks English, German and Russian. Married, with two children.

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