Statements by Bulgarian president-elect Roumen Radev during his election campaign that it should be accepted that the Russian flag is flying over Crimea have been described as “problematic” by Bulgaria’s outgoing foreign minister.
Radev, a former Bulgarian Air Force commander who defeated 20 other candidates to be elected the country’s next head of state, said more than once during his campaign that while Crimea was de jure part of Ukraine, de facto the Russian flag flew over the territory.
Daniel Mitov, foreign minister in Boiko Borissov’s government that resigned after the defeat of Borissov’s GERB party candidate at the hands of Radev, was asked in a November 24 television interview about a comment by Russian former senior intelligence officer Leonid Reshetnikov that Radev’s nomination had been co-ordinated with Russia.
Radev nomimally was the candidate of an “initiative committee”. Initially, he had the backing of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party and the minority breakaway socialist ABC party, both pro-Russian parties, but ABC withdrew from the deal and put up its own candidate.
Mitov recalled the words of Radev about Crimea, describing it as a “problematic” position that he hoped not to hear from the head of state.
“Every success of the president-elect will be a success for Bulgaria,” Mitov said. He hoped that he had seen that this position during the campaign had been a troubled one.
Mitov said that for a long time now, the BSP and ABC had been defining themselves as anti-European and anti-Nato parties./IBNA