Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry has criticised comments by Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova on domestic politics as inappropriate.
In an interview posted on a Bulgarian channel on YouTube, Mitrofanova said that were she a Bulgarian citizen “I would vote for the one I understand – for ‘I don’t support anyone’ or Kostadin Kostadinov”.
Kostadinov leads the pro-Russian Vuzrazhdane party, which has 37 MPs in Bulgaria’s 240-seat National Assembly, making it the third-largest parliamentary group.
“Why would I act like that? Because perhaps out of all of them we can tentatively call them opposition parties, he at least expresses a pro-Bulgarian position, which I like. I think he has a balanced approach in foreign policy,” Mitrofanova said.
The interview was posted on April 19, the same day that We Continue the Change (WCC) co-leader Assen Vassilev, speaking in the National Assembly, described Vuzrazhdane as a pro-Kremlin party.
Mitrofanova said: “No, I wouldn’t say that he (Kostadinov) represents Russian interests in Bulgaria. Maybe – the Russophiles”, a reference to an extra-parliamentary party.
She denied funding the Russophiles or any other party, and went on to comment on GERB (“ a party that has been in government for a long enough time, it has its strengths, that’s why the vote for them is not a surprise)” and WCC-Democratic Bulgaria (“WCC lost a lot from their positions, but in coalition with DB they got good percentages, but they are also already familiar faces”).
In a statement on April 24, the Foreign Ministry said that Mitrofanova’s statements were an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the country and contradicted the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
The statement said that caretaker Foreign Minister Nikolai Milkov had had a conversation with Mitrofanova in this regard.
(Screenshot of Mitrofanova via BNT)
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