Kostov: The war will be long, for Bulgaria to integrate even more into the Euro-Atlantic community

The war in Ukraine will continue for a long time, and this creates serious risks for our country. This is what Ivan Kostov said to BNT. According to him, in this situation, Bulgaria’s national interest is to integrate even deeper into the Euro-Atlantic community, which includes rapid adoption of the euro, accession to the Schengen area and modernization of the Bulgarian army.

“This war destabilizes not only the economy, but also the political one. From this point of view, the most important thing for Bulgaria is to enter as quickly as possible the inner circles of Euro-Atlantic integration, which means becoming much more active in the modernization of the Bulgarian army , to enter Schengen, to introduce the Euro. Even if we are not ready for the Eurozone, I remember that Greece was not ready at all either, but I remember that Mr. Simitis helped to join, even though the Maastricht criteria were not met, because there were more important political goals,” Kostov said.

According to him, Bulgaria has a big problem in its positioning as a society. According to Ivan Kostov, the fact that Bulgaria did not provide a grant to Ukraine, but sold an arsenal through intermediaries, does not create much confidence in our Euro-Atlantic value, and policies such as those of the BSP and “Vazrazhdane” pull Bulgaria and keep it on the periphery – in the space, where the doubts of both the EU and NATO extend, which gives rise to doubts that we are not sufficiently in solidarity with this policy.

“The problem is that the policy and position of NATO and the EU are not clearly formulated from the most authoritative places. From the highest places – the Minister of Energy, the Prime Minister and the President – they do not speak and do not convince the Bulgarian society that this position is correct. On the contrary, they sow doubts,” said Kostov.

“The warmongers are us, all of us – the entire Euro-Atlantic community in the eyes of President Radev. He speaks as a Russian agent of influence. There cannot be such powerful voices of Russian agents of influence in Bulgaria, that they are constantly on television and that we expect the Bulgarian society to orient itself correctly, there is no way this can happen,” he pointed out.

Kostov pointed out that in the current situation, in terms of economic growth, one cannot talk about an economic crisis in Bulgaria. According to him, the inflation in our country is further inflated by the income policy, which was started during the mandate of Kiril Ananiev as Minister of Finance and continued by Asen Vassilev.

“There are people for whom inequality has deepened in this situation – especially among pensioners. The small basket, indeed, has become more expensive – these are foods – eggs, milk, etc. But this is a complex analysis, it is not for political use and to scare people. Energy prices – they have been controlled by a purposeful and powerful policy of the EU and the US. They fought Putin, not the caretaker government. It’s funny that the president talks like this – as if the frog saw , that they shod the ox and she raised her leg too,” he said.

According to Ivan Kostov, Bulgaria has managed to bridge one of the two major gaps it faces by securing strong parliamentary support for military aid to Ukraine.

“However, the other chasm remains open and ever deeper. In practice, Borisov rules – all key bodies remain with unchanged leadership. The blocking of this parliament prevented this removal from key positions of the pyramid – because it is a mafia pyramid placed in the institutions of power . And you can’t stop this fight in the middle, you know? And there’s no way to bridge that gap,” he said.

Ivan Kostov called for the fulfillment of the conditions for the Recovery and Resilience Plan, which include judicial reform, jurisdiction of the chief prosecutor, cancellation of the possibility of senior prosecutors to cancel the acts of subordinates. This will also help our accession to Schengen.

“You can’t go in there with services that European countries don’t trust, because secret and confidential information is spread there – what kind of people enter, pass and so on. If we don’t do this reform of the services, we can’t win that trust Deep integration into the Euro-Atlantic community greatly reduces the risks for Bulgaria. If we remain on the periphery, no one will think well of us,” he pointed out.

Ivan Kostov defined the union between “Democratic Bulgaria” and “We continue the change” as the only new proposal in the elections on April 2.

“If they form this coalition, the voters will see a new formation that has shown a will to unite, solved its internal problems and is ready to take responsibility. The rest will be the same. In this sense, the sociologists who say that everything will be as it was, maybe they are not right. DSB and “Yes, Bulgaria” make a compromise with this unification, as is done in many other European countries. Something is always sacrificed in such coalitions, and one must ask in the name of what,” said Kostov.

“I am the person who will support the election of the DSB to our national council – whatever they decide, I will follow them. I very much hope that they will leave their mark on the political program of this union, because these things are the key to the successful Bulgarian politics in the next 4 years”, emphasized Ivan Kostov.

Regarding the tension between Sofia and Skopje, the former prime minister stated that Bulgaria’s policy towards the Republic of North Macedonia is European, but the reciprocal attitude is lacking.

“It is European policy to let two flights, led by Mitsoski, be admitted to Blagoevgrad to present their colors to whoever they see fit. In the opposite direction, however, I do not see this. We do not deviate from European policy. The one who deviates, is PCM.

What we saw yesterday – there is no such thing in Europe. Such behavior cannot exist. The refusal of North Macedonia to present flowers together with the Bulgarian delegation is a violation of the agreement between the two countries. There was a tradition of celebrating together – how many times did prime ministers and ministers go and celebrate together. Our minister has gone, he was there and they did not ask to celebrate with him.

We did a lot at the time – Bulgaria was the first to recognize Macedonia – they have forgotten it for a long time. Now they must think that the USSR was the first to recognize them. We helped them in the difficult times when huge masses of deported Kosovar Albanians landed at their border. We were the second country in the world in terms of the amount of aid we gave them, even though we were also in dire straits at the time – they forgot that too. We were the ones who helped them to avoid a civil war – we gave them tanks to respect the Albanians and to reach the Ohrid agreement.

Capital was accumulated, but when did this capital begin to be devalued and destroyed – at the moment when Bulgarians with Bulgarian self-awareness began to create their own organizations in North Macedonia. And then it turned out that a large part of the North Macedonian elite looked towards Belgrade. This violation and these repressions against people with Bulgarian self-awareness – repressions on an ethnic basis – this is unacceptable and is a total violation of basic norms. They must understand that they are crossing borders that identify Europe as a community,” said Ivan Kostov.