Bulgaria has not yet realized through its special services that it is the object of hybrid aggression by the Russian Federation.
Ivan Kostov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria 1997-2001, stated this to the BNR, and added that the services do not have the ruling majority behind them, they are supported by President Rumen Radev, and he must realize that the management of the services is no longer its function.
In his words, “the services are in a very unenviable position”:
“This unenviable state is due to objective reasons. First, the services do not have behind them the ruling majority in the parliament and the government, their support is President Radev, who, however, does not have a constitutionally assigned function related to their management. He temporarily, indirectly acquired this function – through the service government. It now seems unwilling to part with it. But this brings the services into conflict with the rulers. … The government is responsible for national security, and it alone carries out the operational and strategic management of the services. Now the government is prevented from carrying out this its function. The opposite of the fact that it is hindered is that the services hang in weightlessness – they have lost the meaning of serving the state. Because the state is currently the rulers, as the Constitution dictates”.
According to the former prime minister, the security services work very poorly:
“I reviewed the documents, but nowhere in them is the main threat to the security of the country defined, as part of the priorities and tasks of their annual work, which is the hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation towards Bulgaria. Nowhere is this found. How can they effectively perform their duties themselves, closing their eyes to the most essential”.
In relation to the case of priests expelled from the so-called Russian Church in Sofia due to suspicions of espionage, Ivan Kostov emphasized that first the services of the Republic of North Macedonia expelled them from its territory:
“The very fact that neighboring services expelled the same spies before the Bulgarian ones means that they work a little better and have understood the situation and the damage of the work of these people on the security of their country. … For five years this person was ( the expelled head of the Russian Church – Vasian Zmeev – b.r.) here”.
Ivan Kostov categorically emphasized that the services must maintain political neutrality, but their tasks are determined by politicians from the ruling majority and “if these politicians change and change their national security priorities, the services change their annual plans and programs”:
“This is the most democratic procedure and it should have happened immediately after Putin’s speech in Munich in 2008, because the doctrine changed and the risks were read in a different way. In other European countries it happened, in our country it didn’t happen even in 2014 (when Russia illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine – b.b.). … Bulgaria has not yet realized through the special services that it is the object of hybrid aggression of the Russian Federation. This is a glaring fact that the whole world knows”.
According to Kostov, big changes are made at a time of crisis:
“I do not understand the statements that the services should not be touched because there is a war nearby. The services are broken, but they should not be fixed because there is a great danger that they (the services – n.b.) do not even take into account and do not they assign it to themselves as a priority to work on. How has DANS helped to protect the country from Russian hybrid aggression? Absolutely nothing!”.