Sofia, Bulgaria: Prime Minister Kiril Petkov affirmed the European country’s support against Russian gas, stating, “Together against dependence on Russian gas”. The remarks by the leader were published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on May 20, 2022.
“In this crisis, European Union must be able to show not only support but also speed and strategy”, underscores Prime Minister while keeping his point of view ahead.
Some significant comments made by PM Petkov in Frankfurter are as below:
“Even before Gazprom’s decision of April 27, which unilaterally and in violation of the existing agreement cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, we knew that this risk existed. For more than a decade, Borissov’s government had achieved several staggering results: 95% dependence on Russian gas, an unfinished interconnector with Greece, and a rapidly built gas pipeline through Bulgaria to Hungary, with the sole purpose of transiting to other countries. Add to this the notion that Bulgarians are mainly Russophiles and that the current coalition is complex and unstable, and by stopping Bulgaria’s gas, Putin has bet on a triple effect”.
“First of all, he wanted to demonstrate that he could destabilize a European government that has declared a policy of zero tolerance for corruption. As in many other countries, so in Bulgaria, it is through corruption that Russia influences state policy. Second, hoping for a new, pro-Russian government, the Kremlin aims to restore Russian influence in Bulgaria, a country with historical sympathies for Russia, which, however, has consciously decided to join NATO and the EU after a difficult period of transition”.
PM Petkov further claimed that Russia intentionally targeted Poland and Bulgaria with the motive to create tensions and disunity in the European Union.
“The fact that the EU is currently maintaining its unity and determination against Russia was probably the biggest surprise for many. It was here that the Kremlin saw a good opportunity to try to break that determination. If, due to a unilaterally violated agreement, Bulgaria stops receiving gas from Gazprom, and Germany and other countries are indirectly threatened or persuaded by better conditions – is this not an appropriate way to demonstrate that there are different classes of member states?” the prime minister then highlights.