President Plevneliev Rejects Accusations of Straining Bulgaria-Russia Relations
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has insisted that his interview for German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting contributes to the good relations between the peoples of Bulgaria and Russia.
Plevneliev’s comments came in response to accusations by Russia’s Foreign Ministry of using inadmissible rhetoric against the country in an interview for F.A.Z. published on October 4.
In the interview, in the interview, published on October 4, Plevneliev is asked to elaborate on a report of Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry, presented by him at a NATO summit in Wales, which refers to "total propaganda of Russian politics" and "open information warfare" against Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s President says that “we all want to see a country which has produced Tchaikovsky, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky as a partner. However, facts show that we are dealing with a different Russia nowadays – a nationalist, aggressive state ruled by a President who sees Europe as an opponent, not a partner.”
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Alexander Lukasevic, as cited by ITAR-TASS, condemned Plevneliev’s comments in a Thursday statement, stressing that Bulgaria’s head of state was using inadmissible rhetoric against Moscow “to the benefit of a pro-Western conjuncture that ignores reality and neglects centuries-old traditions of friendly relations and cooperation between the brotherly peoples of Russia and Bulgaria.”
He underscored that “a Bulgarian politician of such high rank turns a blind eye to the persistent and consistent diplomatic efforts of Russia and President Vladimir Putin to unblock the crisis in Ukraine.”
“It is obvious that we are dealing with a deliberately distorted and selective approach to the assessment of Russia's foreign policy in Ukraine,” Lukasevic stated.
“In my capacity of head of state, I work for the friendly relations between the peoples of Bulgaria and Russia,” Plevneliev declared on Friday, as cited by the Bulgarian National Radio.
“This means placing the relations between the peoples of Bulgaria and Russia on a solid footing, and the most solid footing possible is the truth, not the propaganda machine of one or another institution. I believe that I contribute to the good relations between Bulgaria and Russia through my interview for F.A.Z by saying the truth about Russia’s actions in Crimea and I will continue to do so. I have adopted a principled stance which has not changed and which seeks to protect the democratic foundations and values which will help the peoples of Bulgaria and Russia remain good friends in the long term,” Plevneliev noted.
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