Bulgarian President Radev declines to attend Nato Summit in DC

Bulgarian President Roumen Radev has turned down a proposal by the country’s caretaker cabinet for him to head Bulgaria’s delegation to the Nato Summit in Washington DC and also has declined to participate in it, the presidency said on June 27, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported.

The question of who would participate in the July 9 to 11 Nato Summit on Bulgaria’s behalf has been a matter of domestic political controversy.

Caretaker Prime Minister Glavchev, whose political background is with Boiko Borissov’s GERB-UDF, has pledged that the caretaker administration of which he has stewardship will continue the pro-Nato, pro-Ukraine policies of its predecessor, the Nikolai Denkov cabinet.

Radev has said that “Crimea is Russian” and since the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine by Russia, has opposed military aid for Ukraine and called for a “diplomatic solution” towards “peace”.

Radev’s critics had not trusted him to uphold Bulgarian policy on Russia’s war on Ukraine. Bulgaria’s constitution confers on the government the prerogative of setting foreign policy. Detractors of Radev have insisted that his talking points echo messages from Moscow, not Sofia or those of the majority of Western democracies.

As The Sofia Globe reported at the time, on June 21, after Glavchev made a failed attempt to outsource to Parliament the resolution of the question of who should go to Washington to represent Nato member Bulgaria, the government information service said that it had been decided that both Radev and Glavchev would attend.

On June 27, BNT reported the government information service as saying that the caretaker government had proposed that Radev head the delegation.

BNT said that Radev did not accept some provisions of the framework positions adopted by the caretaker government regarding commitments that Bulgaria is undertaking regarding the war in Ukraine.

“The head of state and commander-in-chief has always insisted and worked for the modernisation of the Armed Forces, for increasing the national defence capacity, for strengthening Bulgaria’s contribution to strengthening the deterrent and defence potential of Nato’s eastern flank,” BNT quoted the presidency as saying.

“From the first day of the war in Ukraine, the head of state has strongly condemned Russian aggression. At national and international forums, President Radev has always supported all elements of the collective approach to guarantee security, to increase defence capabilities, to implement the regional plans of the Alliance and to increase means of defence”.

Reacting, Glavchev said that Bulgaria’s position for the upcoming Nato Summit in Washington is in line with all the decisions of the National Assembly “and I guarantee that we will not deviate from them”

I have no idea what embarrassed, frightened and worried President Rumen Radev. Glavchev said.

Glavchev said that the government’s decision to have Radev lead the Bulgarian delegation took into account the fact that he is “the head of state, supreme commander of the armed forces and a Nato general”.

I have no idea what the reasons are for Radev to be worried, you should ask him, Glavchiev said.

He said that the approval of a position by the government was routine and over the years it has always been synchronized between the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Glavchev confirmed that he will lead the Bulgarian delegation to the upcoming Nato Summit in July.

Asked by BNT whether he would lead the delegation, Glavchev said: “Well, there is no one left!”

(Photo: president.bg)

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