FT: Bulgaria's President-Elect Seeks to Dispel Fears of Kremlin TiesDomestic | December 29, 2016, Thursday // 09:18| views
File photo, BGNES
Bulgaria's President-elect Rumen Radev has said he wants the country to be a "real member of NATO, with real capabilities and to be a loyal and predictable partner."
"Bulgaria will always work only together with its partners, the EU and NATO," the Financial Times quotes him as saying in a recent interview.
Radev, who won the presidential election in mid-November, "has sought to dispel concerns, sparked by his rhetoric in the run-up to November’s elections, that as leader of an EU and Nato member-state he is too close to the Kremlin," according to the FT.
However, he has also called for rapprochement between NATO and Russia, arguing the two face "common threats" such as "terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism".
A mention is made of his criticism for outgoing Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev's delay in choosing a western-made multirole military aircraft to overhaul Bulgaria's ageing fleet.
Radev is also quoted as saying his first trips abroad will be to Brussels and Bucharest and not to Moscow.