From Venezuela to Macedonia and beyond: Tussle between Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister and President continues

The ping-pong match between Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and President Roumen Radev over Venezuela and other foreign policy issues continued on February 8.

The tussle began when Zaharieva criticised Radev over his behaviour regarding the Venezuela issue and his delay in signing nominations of ambassadors. Radev hit back by saying that the Bulgarian government had no policy of its own on Venezuela, and accused the government of failing to consult him on issues such as the neighbouring former Yugoslav republic’s accession to Nato, among other things.

Speaking to reporters two days after Bulgaria’s Cabinet formally approved the country’s support for Juan Guaidó in his capacity as interim President of Venezuela, aligning itself with the majority of other European Union countries in doing so, Zaharieva rejected Radev’s claim that Bulgaria did not have its own policy on Venezuela.

Venezuela, she said, had been discussed at several meetings of EU foreign ministers and several times, Bulgaria had made a declaration on behalf of all the member states and had been very actively involved in this process.

Zaharieva said that policy positions of the government were very often sent to the administration of the President.

She rejected the claim that “someone wrote something for us and we just copy-pasted it”.

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