PM Denkov: Russian Priests were Not Expelled, only People who Worked Against the National Interests of Bulgaria

Politics | September 26, 2023, Tuesday // 12:28
Bulgaria: PM Denkov: Russian Priests were Not Expelled, only People who Worked Against the National Interests of Bulgaria Nikolai Denkov

"Russian priests were not expelled, people who worked against the national interests of Bulgaria were expelled." This is how Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov commented on the expulsion of the three priests from Russia and Belarus.

"What is urgent is to open the church so that the believers can enter. Yesterday I had a meeting with representatives of the Holy Synod. I said that everything that is needed by the state, we will do it. I saw the notarial deed issued in 1997. It is yet to be analyzed how the legal issues with ownership stand. As they should be on a reciprocal basis in relation to the Bulgarian Church in Moscow and the Russian Church in Sofia," said Academician Denkov.

"The church must remain open and the organization is done by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. That is why the patriarch yesterday provided priests who could ensure the church's activities," the prime minister said.

When asked by BNT, does he agree with the criticisms of Gen. Atanas Atanasov to the activity of the State Agency "National Security" regarding the delayed reaction with the expulsion of the clergy, one week after North Macedonia, Denkov replied:

"There is reason in Gen. Atanasov's criticisms. The question of when we should have reacted is open and we will have a conversation with the chairman of SANS."

The prime minister announced that the main topic of conversation at the meeting with the Austrian chancellor on October 4 in Vienna will be Schengen and a conversation about how much Austria loses from the non-entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the area without borders.

"If Vienna wants the external borders to be well protected, there is no reason for Austria to be against our country's entry into Schengen. Any escalation of the tone without particular need means that the arguments are not heard," said the Prime Minister.

Denkov announced that the decision on the Eurozone is expected to be made by the middle of next year.

"The final decision will be political and will be the result of all our efforts."

The Prime Minister also commented on upcoming legal changes.

"I am optimistic about the changes in the justice system. The questions about the status of the caretaker government and the national holiday will be discussed further. Experts from the Venice Commission think that there may not be a caretaker government, but I don't think that is a good idea. The decision itself is yet to be discussed. One option is to abolish the status of the caretaker government, the second is to be chosen by the prime minister and he to propose the ministers. The third is to severely limit the powers of the caretaker government. We have discussed all three options, but we are waiting to hear the expert opinion opinion."

"The cabinet is much more stable than it appears in the media". Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov delivered this message at a working breakfast organized by the American Chamber of Commerce.

Today marks 120 years of diplomatic relations between Sofia and Washington.

In front of the business, Denkov confirmed that stronger integration in the Euro-Atlantic community is the most important goal of the cabinet, which includes Bulgaria's accession to the Eurozone, Schengen and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"The cabinet is much more stable than it probably seems from what you see in the media in such a pre-election situation. Of course, there is tension and there will be, disputes too, but the large majority in the National Assembly, I would say also of the Bulgarian people, supports our common goal," commented Denkov.

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