Lasting Peace is Only Achievable When We Give Way Not to Interests But to Principles, Said Rosen PlevnelievDomestic | March 25, 2019, Monday // 19:05| views
A lasting sustainable peace is only achievable when we reach the hearts of young people and when we give way not to the interests but to the principles, said Rosen Plevneliev, President of Bulgaria from 2012 to 2017, at the conference "NATO membership - the key to The European Union "in Sofia, organized by the Atlantic Council on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of NATO and 15 years since the accession of Bulgaria to the alliance.
,,We are surrounded by instability and it is quite normal for people to worry, it is up to politicians to address the fears of citizens and to resolve them in a sustainable way rather than to play with these fears'', Plevneliev said.
According to him, decisions can only be global, whether it be terrorism, economic and financial crises, migration.
,,When we know that the coming elections are essential, it is up to each of us to face the citizens and to defend what is right for the next generation'', Plevneliev noted.
,,NATO is the world's strongest worthy alliance of democratic states, asserting principles'', he added.
,,Populists are not strong because they have no cause, strategy, long-term view'', said Plevneliev.
Former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov said that Bulgarian insecurity is now more than 15 years old. The reasons are also the Bulgarian politics, but also NATO's policy, he commented.
,,When Bulgaria became a member of the alliance, I warned that this membership can not help us rule the rule of law, tackle corruption and organized crime, these internal deficits of security keep us away from Western democratic standards'', he commented.
,,The external uncertainty is now much greater, the reasons being the Crimean annexation, the subsequent Russian hybrid war against Ukraine and the sanctions imposed in response'', Kostov pointed out.
According to him, the Bulgarian authorities are passive to the Russian hybrid aggression against our society and state and try not to take a stand in the conflict that Russia has started with NATO.
US Ambassador Eric Rubin noted that the current times are challenging, but there are some positive moments, despite the challenges and threats we face. In his view, celebrating NATO's anniversary enables us to reconfirm the shared values and to think about what success has been achieved, what has not been achieved and what still needs to be done, and how to use this opportunity to address threats and challenges.
Ambassador Rubin also commented on Bulgaria's presidency of the Council of the EU and pointed out the role of our country in supporting the integration of the Western Balkans. Bulgaria has demonstrated that it understands the importance of playing proactive role in the region as a member of NATO and the EU, the Ambassador said.
He also drew attention to the decision to modernize Bulgarian military aviation and expressed the view that the election of the F-16 was the right choice.
UK Ambassador Emma Hopkins said NATO is not just a military organization, it also has a political role. She pointed out that we need to promote NATO, continue to explain what NATO's goal is, to discord the myths.
Ambassador Hopkins commented that even if he left the EU, the UK would remain connected and play a role in European defense.