“Bulgaria sends aid to Ukraine through Poland”. In practice, the resigned Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov admitted this in an interview with the Guardian, given before the no-confidence vote this Wednesday.
His statement comes after a question about how Bulgaria‘s position on the war will change if it fails to form a new coalition.
“I am afraid that (Bulgaria) will become a much more timid, soft country in terms of rhetoric against the war and that part of our exports (of aid) to Poland will be sharply reduced,” he said in the interview.
Interviewer Andrew Roth explains that despite Bulgaria‘s “traditional ties” with Russia, our country has “unexpectedly taken a firm pro-Ukrainian stance.”
“We surprised everyone in Europe and surprised Russia with our strong policies,” Petkov said.
Roth points out that the change in foreign policy attitudes after the overthrow of the government is uncertain, as “the majority of the coalition called for the provision of weapons and military-technical support for Ukraine.”
But Petkov explained that a caretaker cabinet could very quickly sign a deal with Gazprom and adopt Russia’s gas-for-ruble scheme, which would make our country more cautious in criticizing the war.
“Russia really wants to overthrow this government because it will show that if you don’t play with them, then governments fall,” Petkov said. “This would be a great example of how the gas diversification strategy is not working.”
Roth recalls that Bulgaria did not allow Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to pass through the country’s airspace for a planned visit to Serbia.
“It was a simple decision. I decided that he would not fly over us. It’s that simple,” Petkov stressed.
“The rift over the war has pitted Petkov against President Rumen Radev, a retired general and former air force commander, who said arms supplies to Ukraine would only prolong the war”, the Guardian wrote.
Petkov told the newspaper that he and Radev did not agree on the issue of the Russian gas-to-ruble scheme. According to the resigned prime minister, “Russian propaganda has created a strong incentive for politicians like Radev to choose neutrality because the head of state believed that 20% of Bulgarians support Russia in the war, and another 60% do not want to take a strong position on the invasion.” Petkov points out that the president is influenced by populist views on Russia in the country, but does not rule out Radev himself sharing them.
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