PM Borisov About the Choice Between Russia and Europe

In an interview with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürichher Zeitung, translated by Deutsche Welle the PM Boyko Borisov said:

"There is no choice between Russia and the West: Bulgaria is part of the EU, Bulgaria is in NATO, history, culture, business and traditions are one, but the Western orientation is a decision that we have taken firmly."

The distinction made by the Prime Minister means that the Western orientation of our country is defined, but "history, culture, business and traditions" are rather Russia-oriented. His explanation is the answer to the question of how our country is positioned in the conflict between the West and Russia.

According to Borisov, it is quite normal to have a gratitude for the fact that thousands of Russians have given their lives for the release of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire. At the same time, the Prime Minister stressed that there could be no doubt about the country's western affiliation.

Asked why Bulgaria, unlike most EU countries, did not expel Russian diplomats in connection with the assassination of Sergei Scripal, the prime minister again explained that stricter measures against Russia should be adopted only after further evidence of its guilt is presented.

"The presumption of innocence is central to the European values system and the rule of law," says Borisov.

The Prime Minister noted that he is happy with what has been achieved in recent years and mentioned the new highways and metro in Sofia. "The Bulgarians will not forget the solidarity of Europe, with which these objects were built," Borisov assured in the interview.

Asked why a centrist like him ruled in a union with partly right-extremist forces, Borisov replied: "Such was the will of the people, and we in Bulgaria say: the voice of people is the voice of God!" (vox populi, vox Dei) Furthermore, Borisov explained that the right-wing GERB's natural allies have failed to enter parliament, and the former communists and the Turkish minority party were totally unacceptable as coalition partners.

"Over the past year, we have shown that we are doing well with the United Patriots," the prime minister also points out, defending the border with Turkey, and curbing the migration crisis as well as raising pensions and spending on education. Further, in the interview, Borisov answers a question about the reasons that led to the government's refusal to ratify the Istanbul Convention. In the words of the Bulgarian Prime Minister, this denial is due to the unconstructive behaviour of the Socialists, which distorted the debate, threatening society with the claim that it was about a "third sex".

In connection with the Bulgarian Euro-Presidency and the European Commission's adoption strategy for the countries of the Western Balkans, Borisov outlined the following vision:

"This is the poorest and the most underdeveloped region in Europe and therefore I want the Balkans to become a building site for important infrastructure projects, for transport corridors connecting Asia and Europe and stimulating links between cities such as Sofia, Belgrade, and Thessaloniki, "said Borisov, and recognized as a personal success the fact that the Western Balkans has become a prospective region.

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Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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