Democratic Bulgaria: Radev continues to isolate Bulgaria from the efforts of all its allies

The Democratic Bulgaria coalition has issued a lengthy indictment of President Roumen Radev’s statements during the February special meeting of the European Council in Brussels, saying that Radev was continuing to isolate Bulgaria from the efforts of all its allies.

In Brussels, Radev said that Bulgaria would veto any proposal to include Russian nuclear fuel in EU sanctions, and spoke out against Bulgaria supplying arms to Ukraine. He said that there were voices speaking about victory – for Ukraine – but, according to Radev, no one could define what victory meant.

Democratic Bulgaria said that Radev had once again questioned the strategic interests of Bulgaria as a full member of the EU and Nato.

“Radev pretends that he does not understand what victory means. Democratic Bulgaria explains to him: victory means that the Russian aggressors withdraw from the entire territory of Ukraine, including Crimea, which was occupied in 2014, pay reparations for the material and non-material damage caused, and the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity, to be brought before an international tribunal, preferably the International Criminal Court in The Hague.”

The coalition said that Radev irresponsibly contrasted victory for Ukraine with peace, “ignoring the reality that only achieving the goals of Ukraine’s legitimate self-defence will be a victory for international law and the basis for lasting and stable peace in Europe”.

“In all his rhetoric, Radev tries to justify some other peace without having the courage to name it directly. And it is clear that the only other peace could be some form of capitulation to Russian aggression,” Democratic Bulgaria said.

“Although Radev’s campaign to scare the Bulgarian public about how providing military aid to Ukraine would make us part of the war failed in the face of reality, he again opposes continued defence assistance to Ukraine.

“Thus, Radev continues to isolate Bulgaria from the efforts of all our allies, who are clearly aware of their interest in the Kremlin’s aggression being repelled as quickly and successfully as possible. In addition, he and his cabinet are blocking real opportunities to modernize our defence capabilities and dooming our military to ever greater and difficult to reverse technological backwardness and isolation from our Nato allies.”

Democratic Bulgaria said that Radev once again was proving that instead of being a unifier of the nation and a leader who can represent Bulgaria as a responsible member of the EU and Nato, “he chooses to divide our society and marginalize our country, by his one-man whim once again pushing it into the humiliating role of a satellite of the Kremlin”.

In Brussels on February 9, Radev was a participant – along with the heads of government of Austria, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary and Croatia – in multilateral talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

According to a statement by the president’s office, Radev “emphasized the consistent humanitarian support that Bulgaria provides to Ukraine, including the large Bulgarian diaspora in the country, as well as the tens of thousands of Ukrainian citizens who sought salvation from the conflict in our country”.

“Bulgaria’s energy policy creates prerequisites for real diversification in the supply of energy resources for the entire region, from which Ukraine can also benefit,” the statement said.

Radev emphasised again that nuclear energy is of strategic importance for the future of Bulgarian energy and economy and Bulgaria cannot accept the imposition of sanctions in this area, it said.

In response to Radev’s statements, a protest has been organised, to be held at 6.30pm outside the presidency building in Sofia on February 10. Organised on social networks, it is entitled “We are Bulgaria, EU and Nato. Radev – out!”

Radev and Zelenskyy in Brussels on February 9. While Radev has dismissed those in Bulgaria who back arms for Ukraine as ‘warmongers’ and throughout recent years has opposed sanctions on Russia, Zelenskyy has thanked Bulgaria for its support. Kiril Petkov, who was Bulgaria’s Prime Minister from December 2021 to August 22, has told the media that his government supplies arms to Ukraine. In late 2022, Parliament voted to instruct the government to provide weapons to Ukraine. Photo: EC Audiovisual Service.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, speaking after the European Council meeting, outlined plans for a 10th package of EU sanctions on Russia over its war on Ukraine.

Von der Leyen said that sanctions would be imposed on a number of political and military leaders, and would target Putin’s propagandists.

“Secondly, the package will include additional export bans worth more than 10 billion euro. This will further starve Russia’s military machine and continue to shake the foundation of its economy,” she said.

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