Bulgaria will not use its veto power to block possible EU sanctions on Russia should the European Council decide to pursue such action in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea, Plamen Oresharski said on March 25.
Speaking after attending a forum organised by the Russian-Bulgarian chamber of commerce in Sofia, Oresharski – the man sitting in the prime minister’s chair – said that “the veto is not an instrument in the dialogue between leaders in the European Council,” as quoted by Bulgarian news agency BTA.
This is the most unequivocal statement so far from Oresharski on the issue of EU sanctions – Bulgaria has been among EU countries to oppose serious economic sanctions against Russia and Oresharski has been especially vigorous at EU-level discussions in opposing such sanctions.
Oresharski’s statement comes only a day after a meeting of the Consultative Council on National Security, after which he dodged questions about Bulgaria’s stance on the issue, saying that “Bulgaria would continue to take part in debates at EU level to shape the European position as it had before” and professed his certainty that there would be no large-scale sanctions against Russia.
Bulgaria’s opposition to any wide-ranging EU sanctions appears to be based on fears that the country would be among the worst-hit by the loss of Russian business. Oresharski said that so far, this has not been the case: “At this stage, we cannot speak of losses, rather about some turbulence.”