War in Ukraine: A former Bulgarian minister denounces his country’s neutrality
Bulgaria’s former Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin has criticized his country’s stance on Russian aggression in Ukraine and insisted it should be called for “Neutrality” were totally out of place.
Ivailo Kalfin, EURACTIV Bulgaria board member and executive director of the Dublin-based European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), made the point in an interview with Bulgarian national radio.
On Sunday (October 2) Bulgarians will go to the polls in early elections, with the war in Ukraine playing a major role in the campaign.
The leader of the far-right pro-Russian party Vazrazhdane (renewal) Kostadin Kostadinov repeated his request for “total neutrality” of Bulgaria in the war in Ukraine, and the leaders and organizations of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (Bulgarska sotsialisticheska partiyaBSP) also demanded neutrality.
According to Mr. Kalfin, both in Bulgaria and in other countries, there is a will to stop aid to Ukraine in order to quickly get out of the war, but « This means that Russia will quickly achieve its goals ».
” Apparently, [Vladimir] Putin wants to expand the territory of Russia. This is obviously unacceptable. Therefore Bulgaria must not remain neutral”he explained.
Mr. Kalfin pointed out that Russia has lost much of its influence in international relations.
“One of the problems is that Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council. It is the organization that has the greatest authority and that should speak out on these issues, particularly on safeguarding territorial integrity. By its behavior, Russia is destroying this function of the Security Council, which can no longer function effectively. »he explained.
Referring to the referendums currently being held in the four Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine, namely Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia, Mr Kalfin said there was no doubt that the international community would not accept their results.
Regarding the question of replacing Russian gas in Europe, Mr. Kalfin expressed more skepticism, saying that it is not possible to replace it completely “Russia cannot, for example, divert its supplies from Europe to China and India. For logistical reasons, Russia cannot sell it there in such quantities.”
He also commented on the interim government’s attempts to start negotiations with Gazprom to resume gas supplies, which the Russian monopolist had completely halted in April.
“These attempts are in vain. Gazprom is not a cheap gas supplier for Bulgaria, it is not an option and it will not be an alternative. Gazprom will use gas as a political weapon, and some political parties in our country will be happy to help them play this game.”he explained.
“In general, if you are obedient to the Kremlin, you can get a few crumbs, which offends Bulgaria and should not happen. I do not expect that the negotiations with Gazprom will lead to a result and a cheap gas alternative for our country.”he concluded.
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