Bulgaria’s Ruling Party will vote “For” Sending Weapons to Ukraine and Considers the President’s Position “Disgraceful”

Politics | April 27, 2022, Wednesday // 16:27
Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s Ruling Party will vote “For” Sending Weapons to Ukraine and Considers the President’s Position “Disgraceful” Speaker of Parliament Nikola Minchev (left), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev (center), Prime Minister Kiril Petkov (right) at a press meeting of "We Continue the Change" @BNT

“’We continue the change’ is a political party that will fully defend the Bulgarian interest. This means an independent, free and prosperous Bulgaria,” said Prime Minister Kiril Petkov at a press conference of the party, attended by Deputy Prime Minister Asen Vassilev and members of the WCC Executive Board.

According to Petkov, there are many political and economic circles in our country that defend Russian interests. "WCC will be a party that will defend only Bulgarian interests, which means full independence, being part of the European family," Petkov added. He described Russia's actions to cut the gas to Bulgaria as "blackmail".

Deputy Prime Minister Asen Vassilev said that the Bulgarian interest is to be able to deliver from anywhere, not to have a single supplier to blackmail us. The government is ready with Plan B and they are starting to buy from the second cheapest place.

According to Vassilev, the gas was stopped first in Poland, Bulgaria and Lithuania, because that is the payment calendar. No EU country has paid so far.

"Behind Russia's interests are the 3 billion spent on the Turkish Stream and the proposal for a gas plant and our refusal of Azerbaijani gas, instead of having a ready diversification now," Petkov said. He reiterated that the Greek connection would be ready in June.

"We take a clear position in the conflict in the war in Ukraine," he said, "and we are not trying to balance where we see clear aggression. All our actions will benefit and prosper our country," he said.

The Deputy Prime Minister and co-chair of the WCC Asen Vassilev said that the suspension of gas supply is a unilateral act, which violated the agreement between Gazprom and Bulgargaz. Bulgargaz has made the payment under a contract, but the gas has been stopped, despite the payment. “This means that we have an incorrect party to this agreement. This does not surprise us”, Vassilev said, reminding that we had the same problem in 2009 and in 2014.

“As a government, we expected these problems and began preparations in February”, he added.

“Through the so-called Greek connection, we will be able to supply 3 billion cubic meters of gas a year, plus 2 billion if we expand it. From Greece and Turkey, without the Greek connection, we can currently deliver a total of about 20 billion cubic meters. 2 billion through the “Kulata” border checkpoint and 17-18 billion through the interconnectors with Turkey. Bulgaria's consumption is between 3 and 3.5 billion”, he said.

"To claim that we do not have routes to deliver gas is ridiculous. To rely on building the Greek connection is an excuse not to diversify," Vassilev said.

At the moment, there is no reduced consumption of Bulgarian consumers, he added.

“We see an unprecedented aggression against Bulgaria, an economic one. Bulgaria was put on the list of enemy countries. The Russian ambassador allowed herself statements incompatible with her status as ambassador. Although Bulgaria has not sent weapons directly to Ukraine, these things are happening," Asen Vassilev said.

"The policy of sitting and pretending that there is no aggressor does not work. We are not looking for conflict, we are not looking for war, but when war comes to our doorstep, we will meet it and repel the aggressor, and this must be clear to absolutely every aggressor, no matter who they are. The game in which someone tries to tell us what to do, to force us, to blackmail us, is over. And in this conflict, Bulgaria will help the country that is fighting against the aggressor and this should also be clear, because in this conflict what we see is a very clear position on the one hand - states to be able to determine how to live, how to organize their economy, how to govern, in which alliances to participate. The whole concept of great powers, spheres of influence and small states as vassal appendages lives on this conflict. Bulgaria is not and will not be a vassal appendage," Vassilev said.

He described the position of President Radev, who said that by giving weapons we continued the conflict as "disgraceful" because "it implicitly states that Russia will win this conflict and that it is normal and good for Russia to win this conflict."

Vassilev said that Ukraine will win and we must help it win. "Because the alternative is first for Ukraine and then for the whole of Eastern Europe to become vassal appendages, which this government will not allow. If some declare war on us, it must be ready for our retaliatory strike," Vassilev said.

Kiril Petkov said that “We Continue the Change” would support military-technical assistance to Ukraine and would vote “For” in parliament next week.

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