The discrepancy between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s view vis-à-vis Russia at the EU summit with respect to the common position of the Heads of state and government of the EU regarding the attack on the paralytic gas in the United Kingdom is “a clear sign of denial of solidarity on the part of Bulgaria with the other European partners in an extremely delicate moment for the European Union and NATO “.
This is said in the position of the party “Yes, Bulgaria”, flagged to the media today. “Yes, Bulgaria” is a political force built around the push for bolder judicial reform, headed by Hristo Ivanov, a former justice minister in the second Borisov cabinet. It is not represented in Parliament, as it wasn’t able to cross the 4% barrier (it obtained 2,86%).
In the night of 22 to 23 March EU leaders backed Britain in blaming Moscow over a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England, and agreed to recall their ambassador to Moscow for consultations. The conclusions read:
“The European Council condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent attack in Salisbury […] It agrees with the United Kingdom government’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We stand in unqualified solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this grave challenge to our shared security”, the summit conclusions read.
In the meantime, Borissov made it clear he doubted that the accusations against Russia were sufficiently substantiated.
“Such a position undermines the already weakened confidence that our partners have towards us, it questions the real affiliation of Bulgaria to the European Union and NATO as well as the overall development of our country as a European democratic state”, “Yes, Bulgaria” wrote, adding that they want to sound the alarm with their letter.
According to “Yes, Bulgaria” the behavior of the Prime Minister at the European Council in Brussels was “even more embarrassing amid absence of any action on his part and on the part of the Government and the competent law-enforcement authorities against anti-democratic and anti-European propaganda, conducted in Bulgaria through pseudo-media and misleading and fake news sites, some of which controlled by Delyan Peevsky, and others openly related to Russian economic political interests “.
“It is particularly scandalous that these “media” are financed partly with funds from the state budget and European funds”, “Yes, Bulgaria” states. It is common knowledge that advertising for EU programs, policies and tenders is channeled by the authorities only to friendly media. The sums are estimated to be as big as the total of advertising revenue for all Bulgarian media.
“Boyko Borissov’s actions at the European Council in Brussels are a cause of concern that there is a targeted and large-scale disinformation campaign in the country aiming to disrupt the support of Bulgarian society for democracy as a form of social organisation and to citizens against the membership of Bulgaria to the European Union, by creating prerequisites for the establishment of openly authoritarian government”, the statement reads.
Yesterday it became known that a number of EU countries are also expected to expel Russian diplomats in the next days. This morning UK media reported that such action could be taken by Bulgaria. Very quickly, however, the Bulgarian authorities denied such a thing.