Prime Minister Reaffirms Bulgaria's Euro-Atlantic Orientation amid Spy Scandal

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106 POLITICS - PRIME MINISTER - SPY SCANDAL

Prime Minister Reaffirms
Bulgaria's Euro-Atlantic Orientation
amid Spy Scandal

September 11 (BTA) - Bulgaria is geostrategically oriented towards the EU and NATO, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told journalists before the Council of Ministers weekly meeting on Wednesday, commenting on a spy scandal which broke out two days earlier. Borissov said the accusations in this case "should not be put on the same plane" as Bulgaria's relations with Russia.

On Tuesday, Prosecutor General Sotir Tsatsarov said that Russophiles National Movement Chairman Nikolai Malinov has been charged with espionage, and the State Agency for National Security has imposed a 10-year ban on retired Russian intelligence general Leonid Reshetnikov's entering Bulgaria. Malinov has been released on 50,000 leva bail and is barred from leaving the country. Malinov allegedly placed himself at the service of two foreign organizations having their seats in the Russian Federation: the Double-Headed Eagle Society and the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

In his comments, Prime Minister Borissov also said that the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry reacted "the way they would react in Hungary as well." "I have no part to play in this process. It will be driven by the ongoing investigation," he said.

The Prime Minister recalled that he and the mayor of the central Bulgarian town of Kazanluk have attended events of the National Convention of Russophiles near Koprinka Dam. Moreover, Krassimir Velchev, MP of the ruling GERB party, co-chairs the Bulgaria-Russia Friendship Group in the National Assembly.

Borissov said some people love Russia, others love America, still others love Europe, but "we have chosen the EU-NATO path." IG/VE

Source: Sofia