Bulgaria’s prime minister gave an ultimatum to the European Union, threatening retaliatory measures if our country is not accepted in Schengen. The Council of Ministers of Interior and Justice on 7 December will decide whether to vote for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen treaty. The decision must be taken unanimously. Before that, Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev had sharply criticised the Netherlands. The Dutch government decided on Friday that it would accept Romania and Croatia to join the Schengen area so that its citizens could travel freely in the zone, but would block Bulgaria’s entry because it believes it does not meet the conditions. In Austria, there is disagreement between the various members of the ruling coalition on this issue.
The government is ready to retaliate if the Netherlands and Austria veto Bulgaria’s Schengen membership, caretaker Prime Minister Gulub Donev said. A meeting on the issue convened by the prime minister was attended by Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev, Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov and Justice Minister Krum Zarkov. The prime minister expressed hope that there would be no retaliation from Bulgaria and that in the remaining days “reason” could prevail in the Schengen partners by doing what is asked of them.
The questions raised by the Bulgarian position are how and why Bulgaria allows itself to openly threaten an EU member state and how it will respond in case the ultimatum is not met? Clearly Bulgaria was applying the same ultimatum policy against the Republic of North Macedonia, but it was a candidate EU member. And in this case, the government of President Rumen Radev is trying to blackmail and blackmail an EU member state.
“We note that in defence of his position the Chancellor of Austria refers to shortcomings in the functioning of the Schengen system which can in no way be the responsibility of the Bulgarian side, while the Prime Minister of the Netherlands also resorts to unworthy suggestions, which in Bulgaria are unlikely to be forgotten soon. Our duty to the memory of the three Bulgarian border guards who died guarding the EU’s external border will not allow it,” said Gulub Donev. At the same time, the position towards Russia in the conflict with Ukraine is more than peaceful and reversed. After Hungary, Bulgaria is the second country in the EU to show a pro-Putin stance.
(President Rumen Radev, the vice President Iliana Iotova and the Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova behind their backs, at the Bulgarian independence celebrations. September, 2022, during the biggest battles in Ukraine.)
“Bulgaria won’t soon forget the suggestions”, when Bulgarian MEPs in the Euro Parliament have been declared supporters of terrorists. And these are former party-mates of the same Justice Minister Krum Zarkov who became part of the threats against the EU. The mother of Krum Zarkov, is one of the closest circle of people who nominated Rumen Radev for president. And President Rumen Radev, in the last two years, has formally and informally been behind all governments in Bulgaria. Turning the country into an unofficial dictatorship with definite pro-Putin sympathies and imbuing Bulgaria with anti-Western sentiments. This is happening when Bulgaria is taking a more than concessionary stance towards Russia’s Lukoil refinery in complete opposition to the other member states and wants concessions from the sanctions imposed by the EU. There is an unprecedented wave of Euro scepticism and rejection in society, the open start of which was given by the anti-Vaxination position taken by the same President Rumen Radev and the surrounding people.
(Bulgaria’s president with his political protégé Kiril Petkov, who started his career as a caretaker minister under Radev, and then using his name won the elections and form a coalition with the Bulgarian socialists, who are the official successor of the Communist Party that ruled Bulgaria after the WWII. Petkov is a provocative figure, presented as pro-Western, but who concentrated a huge amount of negativity on himself and, therefore, against the West. And despite his good electoral results, that was an enigma for all, his victory was marred by own suspicions of fraud, charges filed by the same socialist party that was their partner. )
In two years, Bulgaria has changed dramatically, with communist ghosts of the past surfacing. Two years in which a country on NATO’s external border during the biggest phalanges that EU ever faced, and a military conflict “de facto” with NATO, Bulgarian elite increasingly resembles an activated terrorist cell. After all, President Rumen Radev was the only head of state in the civilized world to openly recognize Crimea as Russian in November 2021. Although a few days after, the position clarified that “legally belongs to Ukraine.”