Bulgaria's outgoing president slams Putin's Russia

As an ex-Soviet ally reliant on Russian energy, the EU's poorest member state is walking a tightrope between Brussels and Moscow, which seeks to expand its influence in former communist nations.

Bulgaria's outgoing president slams Putin's Russia

World Bulletin / News Desk

Bulgaria's outgoing president Rosen Plevneliev on Thursday said Russia's foreign policies "violate international law" and urged his successor not to give in to pressure from Moscow.

Plevneliev has previously accused Russia of trying to destabilise Europe by financing anti-EU ultra-nationalists in Balkan states including in Bulgaria.

"The politics (of President Vladimir Putin) violate international law, with grave consequences for the whole of Europe, including Bulgaria," Plevneliev told Bulgarian TV Nova.

"I love Russia but I don't agree with Putin's politics, which will throw us back to the 19th century."

He warned that his successor, ex-air force general Rumen Radev, would be "seriously put to the test" as soon as he takes office on January 22.

Socialist-backed Radev, who won a resounding election victory in November, cuts a somewhat ambivalent figure.

He wants closer cooperation with Moscow and the lifting of EU sanctions imposed on Russia over Ukraine, all the while insisting that Bulgaria is a loyal member of the European Union and the NATO military alliance.

On Wednesday, Plevneliev and a dozen other senior European political figures including Swedish ex-prime minister Carl Bildt warned US President-elect Donald Trump against seeking closer ties with Moscow.

"Have no doubt: Vladimir Putin is not America's ally. Neither is he a trustworthy international partner," they wrote in an open letter to Trump.

"Russia's continuing efforts to destabilise Ukraine, and its illegal annexation of Crimea, threaten the peace, predictability and security that Americans and Europeans created together through our victory in the Cold War... It would be a grave mistake to end the current sanctions on Russia or accept the division and subjugation of Ukraine."


Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ocak 2017, 19:20