Condemnation for pro-Russians’ vandalism of EU building in Bulgaria’s capital

The European Commission has condemned the vandalism of the House of Europe in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia, after participants in a pro-Russian “March for Peace and Neutrality” splashed the building with red paint.

The incident took place on May 21, during a march in which MPs and supporters of pro-Russian party Vuzrazhdane and the Bulgarian Socialist Party took part and Russian flags were displayed along with Bulgarian ones.

Vuzrazhdane, a minority party in Bulgaria’s Parliament, opposes assistance to Ukraine to defend itself in Russia’s war on it. It wants Bulgaria to leave the European Union and Nato. Months ago, its leader Kostadin Kostadinov was barred from entering Ukraine.

The so-called ‘March for Peace and Neutrality’, the latest in a succession of small-scale events in Bulgaria with that theme, again featured Russian flags. The events regularly have been given prominent coverage by Kremlin mouthpieces claiming that Bulgarians are siding with Putin’s regime. Screenshot via BNT.

The party said ahead of the march that it would go to the building – which houses the offices of the European Commission and European Parliament representations – to protest “against Brussels’ interference in our internal affairs”.

“While peaceful protests are a fundamental right in any democratic society, violence and vandalism are unacceptable,” Bulgarian National Radio quoted European Commission spokesperson Miriam García Ferrer as saying.

She said that the Commission would contact the relevant authorities responsible for investigating the case.

The head of the EC Representation in Bulgaria, Tsvetan Kyulanov, called on the police to pay attention to the vandalism of the Commission’s building in Sofia.

“We strongly condemn what happened,” Kyulanov told Nova Televizia on May 22.

“Anyone who crosses the line should be held accountable. The police accompany such demonstrations. That is why I am addressing them, as this is not the first time this has happened. Such manifestations have no place in peaceful demonstrations on either side. Everyone has the right to freely express their opinion without endangering the safety of other people,” he said.

In a message on Twitter, European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said that the building had been targeted by “vandals unhappy with our stance in support of Ukraine”.

“We will clean it up. Our backing of Ukraine will get stronger. Our voice condemning Russia’s invasion will only get louder,” Metsola said.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that it categorically condemns the attack on the building of the House of Europe in Sofia.

“Such acts contradict in an incompatible counterbalance to modern Bulgaria, as well as to the democratic values ​​that our country embodies,” the ministry said.

(Main photo, from Roberta Metsola’s Twitter account)

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