Petkov: The Decision for the Russian Diplomats was Not Mine Alone
“There is an interdepartmental report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and there is a decision of the Security Council, which was attended by the Ministers of Interior, Defense, Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister of Finance, Minister of e-Government, Chief of Defense, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Interior, SANS, the chairman of Intelligence Agency director of Military Intelligence, head of the National Security Service, secretary of the Security Council and a representative of the presidential institution since June 9, 2022”. This was stated by the resigned Prime Minister Kiril Petkov before the closed session in parliament, at which he was heard by the MPs for the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats.
“There is an operational meeting of the Council of Ministers, where this was discussed, there is a long process that has taken place and which ended with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make the recall of diplomats yesterday”. This was stated by Petkov after his hearing in the National Assembly.
“The idea of a one-man decision is another attempt at political maneuvers, but I hope that after today (29.06.2022) all deputies understood what happened”, Petkov added.
“This is a process that started in March, we have notes from April, May, June, we had the Security Council with all the services that reported - SANS, SAI, Military Intelligence. Two things came out, it is a long process, secondly, many services were involved, thirdly, we are not in a normal situation at the moment, the war in Ukraine caused a new situation in the EU, especially since Russia declared Bulgaria an enemy state”, Petkov said. “All of them focused on 70 people, in reality, the Russian embassy continues to have over 40 employees, which is a large number compared to many European countries, things have become clear now”, Petkov stressed.
“It was clearly reported that I, as Prime Minister, headed the Security Council, but there is a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Agency for National Security”, Petkov added.
“This the absurd in which we live”, said Desislava Atanasova from GERB. “We have not seen any documents”, she added.
“If requested by the National Assembly, they will be in the office. Petkov is confused in principle, it is difficult for any reports to confuse him further, there is simply nowhere else to go”, Atanasova added.
“The decision is unprecedented. There is no such thing in world history. The largest number of expelled Russian diplomats is from the United States - 58. In our parliamentary group, they said that this was on the verge of severing diplomatic relations.”
This was said by the resigned Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Kornelia Ninova on Nova TV.
“Bulgaria must be a sovereign state and no one should determine our foreign policy. As far as I know, no convincing evidence has been given that the expelled Russian diplomats were spies. But outside the specific case - would this harm the Bulgarian national interest, our economy, tourism, gas prices, oil prices? Definitely.”
“Look at what the big European countries are doing, such as France - Macron talks to Putin all the time. Germany has decided not to cut off gas supplies because it thinks about its economy, about its families. Do you doubt that they are not Euro-Atlantic countries?”
“No one has given convincing evidence of the illegal activities of these people.”
“There is no representative of the Ministry of Economy in the National Security Council. The operational meeting of the Council of Ministers - this should be a meeting at which information is given, not a decision is made. At one of these meetings, the Foreign Minister presented information on how many Russian diplomats are here, how many are ours there, what reciprocity should be sought; at this meeting, I stated that if there is an intention to persecute such a large number of diplomats, this is absolutely unacceptable and is on the verge of severing diplomatic relations,” Ninova commented.
“We have not seen this so-called SANS report. Probably only the president, who appoints the head of SANS, can see the report.”
“And there are two people from SANS in the National Security Council under the Prime Minister, so what Radev said - that he did not know about the persecution of diplomats is not true”.
“We fought against the model of GERB, in which the institutions were not respected, the rule of law and the judicial order, and here we are witnessing exactly the same model.”
“After the decision of the BSP General Assembly to terminate the negotiations for forming a government with ‘We Continue the Change’, I called the resigned Prime Minister Petkov and informed him about our decision. I do not believe that the decision to prosecute diplomats is under foreign pressure. This is an unprecedented act that has not been proven by anything”, Ninova commented.
“Late last night, the resigned Prime Minister Petkov requested a meeting with the BSP General Assembly, which will be held today in the parliament”, the resigned Deputy Prime Minister added.
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