Deputy PM considers Russia a Friendly Country, “as do most Bulgarians”

Politics | May 9, 2022, Monday // 09:54
Bulgaria: Deputy PM considers Russia a Friendly Country, “as do most Bulgarians” Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Kornelia Ninova @bTV

Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Kornelia Ninova told bTV that Russia is a friendly country towards Bulgaria. According to her, this is the opinion of the majority of Bulgarians, and therefore a large percentage did not want to send military aid to Ukraine, which has been the subject of military action by Russia since February 24. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov has long referred to a poll, according to which 84% of Bulgarians are against sending such assistance. Eventually, after his visit to Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Bulgaria to repair Ukrainian military equipment, and not to send weapons. This solved the problem of the Bulgarian government, as the BSP, led by Ninova, would have left the coalition if parliament decided to send weapons and ammunition. In the end, the parliament decided to satisfy Ukraine's request, and whether repair of the equipment is possible, according to Ninova, depends on the capabilities of the TEREM plant.

Asked what is the Bulgarian national interest ina winner of the war, Ninova said the interest is in ceasing the war. According to her, the cause of the problem must be eliminated, and it is the war itself (not any of the sides).

Ninova's statement comes despite the fact that Bulgaria was declared an unfriendly country by Russia and the supply of gas from Gazprom to Bulgargaz was unilaterally suspended after Russia demanded payments in rubles in violation of the agreement between the two countries.

Ninova defended the Russian point of view on bTV, commenting that the gas cut was probably a response to the sanctions imposed on the country. She called for an end to the sanctions and described them as bidding. She added that Bulgaria should continue talks with Gazprom.

Ninova has already called on Bulgaria to request a postponement of the embargo on oil imports from Russia, which the European Commission is preparing as a new batch of sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

"Russia will find alternatives for the output of its raw materials. What will we do?" Ninova asked today.

Regarding the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba that countries that do not support the embargo on the import of Russian oil will be complicit in war crimes, Ninova commented that it is not acceptable for foreign ministers, ambassadors, governments to wave a finger and they say how to protect the Bulgarian interest, especially when drawing lines "if you are not on this side, then you are on the side of the bad guys".

The situation around Radev is unclear

Ninova responded to President Radev, who asked her to explain to the Bulgarian Socialists why Bulgaria was supplying Ukraine with weapons. She reiterated that this cannot happen directly, and what other countries are doing with the purchased weapons is their job.

"I wonder how the president can say these words, he knows that the export contracts have been concluded by his official cabinets. This is manipulation and suggestion," Ninova said.

After that, the BSP leader failed to answer clearly whether Radev is still the party's president. She recalled her promotion before winning her first term in 2016, when she traveled with him for a month "in villages and palanquins" and he could not speak politically. She added that she was surprised by some of his reactions, as well as his appearance on a monument to "some people", which blew up the BSP. Probably Ninova refers to the presence of Rumen Radev at the memorial in front of the National Palace of Culture on February 1, when for the first time as head of state he paid tribute to the victims of communism.

Ninova repeated her words that "We Continue the Change" is Radev's child, but its current situation is unclear, interesting and strange, as the "common team" Radev, Asen Vassilev, Kiril Petkov, Stefan Yanev, Maya Manolova, who acted together now they don't talk and everyone attacks everyone.

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