PM slaps down President’s ‘Bulgaria is being pushed to war’ claim

Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov has slapped down President Roumen Radev’s claim that the new government is pushing Bulgaria “closer and closer to war” through its intention to supply arms to Ukraine.

Denkov said that Bulgaria’s Nato membership is the sole guarantee of its security, and pointed out that the now-departed caretaker government – appointed by Radev – also had supplied arms to Ukraine.

Radev, speaking on June 23, told reporters: “The course of the new government is to push Bulgaria closer and closer to war. I do not consider it appropriate for politicians with modest electoral support to speak and undertake such heavy commitments on behalf of Bulgaria”.

“Apparently some politicians do not realise the depth of the problem and look at this war as if they are in a theatre and have made themselves comfortable in the audience with the delusional belief that they will remain only spectators,” said Radev, who has been openly antagonistic to Bulgaria’s new pro-Western government even before it was formed.

Radev called on the Ministry of Defence to “care more about the state and capabilities of the Bulgarian army than about foreign ones” and said that it was in Europe’s interest to immediately end hostilities by looking for ways to restore dialogue and peace negotiations.

“I call for a sober assessment and reason for the role and place of Bulgaria in view of this conflict,” he said.

The caretaker government appointed by Radev – who repeatedly has said of Russia’s war on Ukraine that he wants “peace” – defied a decision by the previous Parliament on supplying weaponry to Ukraine, claiming that it had fulfilled it, a claim that was disputed.

Denkov, responding to Radev’s June 23 comments, said that, with the intention of providing more decisive military aid to Ukraine, the government was strictly complying with the decisions of the National Assembly on this issue.

“The caretaker government was also sending military aid. (Defence) Minister Tagarev has already specified several times that what we are preparing is similar to the packages that were sent from the time of the caretaker government. So, this is all a media attack that has nothing to do with the essence.”

Denkov said that the sole guarantee for Bulgaria’s defence is its Nato membership.

“The war is still there and the sole guarantee for Bulgaria’s defence is its membership of the North Atlantic Alliance,” he said.

“Let’s emphasise that countries that are not members of this pact – Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia – each of them have big problems. At the same time, smaller countries, such as the Baltics, do not have such problems, precisely because they are members of the North Atlantic Pact.

“Bulgaria must strictly comply with all the requirements that follow from this participation, because there is no other better guarantor of its security . This means that when one of the parties is threatened, when there is a common solution, Bulgaria should be a full member in finding this solution,” Denkov said.

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