Zelensky in Bulgaria: ambivalent handshakes
On his current European tour Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday briefly visited Bulgaria, where he met his counterpart Rumen Radev, who is reputedly pro-Russian, as well as Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov of the new pro-Western government. The visit was exemplary of Bulgaria’s ambiguous stance on the Ukraine war, commentators write.
No longer the weakest link on the eastern flank
By inviting Zelensky, Bulgaria is finally positioning itself on Ukraine’s side, Kapital commmenta approvingly:
“Bulgaria’s hesitant and unclear positions in recent years have made it seem like a grey area on Nato’s eastern flank, which is now of huge strategic importance. In connection with the war in Ukraine, this gave rise to very concrete risks. In the event of a possible, albeit unlikely, escalation, it is usually the weakest link in a system that is most threatened. Zelensky’s visit will now send a very strong signal in the opposite direction, at least as far as the country’s strategic orientation and the new government’s policies are concerned.”
Our president’s embarassing stance
Dnevnik criticises Radev for being sympathetic to Russia:
“The Bulgarian president did not even have the decency to call the war a war. ... He merely spoke of a ‘conflict’ — a phrase also used that morning by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to whom the ‘Kiev regime is doing its utmost to drag as many countries as possible virtually directly into this conflict’. Interestingly, this hasn’t happened, even with Poland and the Baltic states, for instance, which share borders with the victim of Russian aggression.”