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Bulgarian president declines NATO summit attendance over his anti-Ukraine stance

Bulgaria’s pro-Russian President Rumen Radev has declined to attend the NATO summit in Washington, citing disagreements with the government’s framework positions on commitments regarding Russia’s war in Ukraine.
bulgarian president declines nato summit attendance over his anti-ukraine stance rumen radev bulphoto
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. Photo: Bulphoto.
Bulgarian president declines NATO summit attendance over his anti-Ukraine stance

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has declined to attend or lead the country’s delegation to the upcoming NATO summit in Washington in July, citing disagreements with the government’s position on the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war.

The NATO summit, scheduled for July 9-11 in Washington, is important because NATO is expected to take over the coordination of arms supplies to Ukraine, according to RFE/RL.

According to a statement from Radev’s office, he “does not accept certain provisions of the framework positions adopted by the Council of Ministers, concerning commitments that our country is making regarding the war in Ukraine.”

The decision comes shortly after acting Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev stated that Radev should lead the Bulgarian delegation. The government’s press center had earlier announced that both Radev and Glavchev would participate in the summit, but it was unclear who would lead the delegation. The dispute over who should represent the country at the forum has been brewing for weeks.

Bulgaria, a parliamentary republic, assigns responsibility for foreign and security policies to the government, while the president’s role involves ensuring checks and balances between institutions.

Radev has faced criticism from political opponents for his perceived Kremlin-friendly position following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He has publicly stated that sending military aid to Kyiv would only prolong the conflict and has referred to those supporting military aid as “warmongers.”

In response to Radev’s decision, Delyan Peevski, leader of a liberal pro-Western party, accused the president of serving foreign interests rather than national ones, suggesting that Radev’s positions are “subjected to dependencies and ties in the East, contrary to the Euro-Atlantic values and principles,” according to AP.

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