President Radev: Bulgaria's Choice of EU, NATO Is StrategicPolitics | January 30, 2017, Monday // 15:07| views
“Bulgaria’s choice of the EU and NATO is strategic and should not be called into question.As for the sanctions [against Russia], I do not see what is the practical use of them, as the losses are obvious. I fear that the new US administration will restore the dialogue with Russia and the EU will remain hostage to the sanction war,” stated President Rumen Radev in an interview for Brussels-based portal EurActiv.com published on the day of his first visit there.
“During my election campaign, I said many times that Bulgarian foreign policy should be formulated in Bulgaria and enforced in the outside world, not the other way around.
In recent years, this has not always been the case. The existence of several geopolitical centers should be another incentive for the EU to seek to preserve its unity, because only a united EU can play on par with other major actors. As far as I’m concerned, I hope to establish pragmatic and mutually beneficial relations with the leaders of the USA, Russia and China,” added Radev.
Radev was adamant that Bulgaria is not risking losing its Presidency of the Council of the EU and that the existing teams for the coordination of activities for the preparation of the Presidency will be preserved.
“I reject categorically the suggestion that Bulgaria risks losing the presidency. On the contrary, I am convinced that it will proceed fruitfully.
In the caretaker government, I made the decision to appoint a Deputy Prime Minister [Denitsa Zlateva] for the preparation of the Bulgarian presidency of the EU, which will allow the effective coordination of the activities of the Presidency’s organisation,” said the head of state.
When confronted with the statement that he is a “pro-Russian President”, Radev retorted:
“Labelling people is a simplistic political practice. Some European media willingly allow being involved in internal political intrigue, by using labels.”
As for the new caretaker cabinet, Radev insisted that it is non-partisan and includes respected experts:
“The composition of the cabinet proves that it is non-partisan and expert. I entrusted the post of Prime Minister to Prof. [Ognyan] Gerdzhikov, one of the rare Bulgarian politicians sent with a standing ovation from his post as chairman of the National Assembly.
Gerdzhikov is a reputed lawyer, a man with a sense of responsibility. The political parties watched anxiously if the cabinet will be set up without their participation. This is what happened.”