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15 Oct, 2022 18:35

Bulgarian vice president opposes plan for Zelensky to address parliament

A speech by the Ukrainian president would only disrupt work of legislators, Iliana Iotova believes
Bulgarian vice president opposes plan for Zelensky to address parliament

Bulgarian Vice President Iliana Iotova has voiced her opposition to plans for Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to address MPs at the opening session of the country’s recently-elected parliament. Such a move would be a part of a political game that would only disrupt the normal work of the legislature, she told journalists on Saturday.

Iotova said she considered it “unacceptable” for Zelensky to address Bulgarian parliamentarians at a time when his own country is going through “its hardest moments.” She also said the whole idea of such an address was nothing but part of an internal political struggle in Bulgaria.

“As a citizen, I felt certain bidding, playing with political topics more typical for an election campaign,” she said, adding that the parties in the parliament were apparently more focused on the next elections than forming a new government. The composition of the cabinet in Bulgaria is determined by the parliament, which chooses ministers from among its MPs.

The comments followed a recent discussion about allowing Zelensky address Bulgarian lawmakers via videolink during the opening session of the parliament, which is scheduled for October 19. Iotova said previous discussions about inviting Russia’s ambassador to Sofia, Eleonora Mitrofanova, to the very same opening session of the parliament were also part of internal political games.

“I do not expect this to turn into a diplomatic scandal, no one needs such scandals, but I am asking myself what kind of people are those who could create such a situation,” the vice president said. It is unclear whether Zelensky would deliver a speech to Bulgarian MPs if invited.

Since Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, Zelensky has repeatedly addressed various Western parliaments, including the British House of Commons, US Congress, the Polish Sejm, German Bundestag and the European Parliament, mostly requesting more aid for Ukraine, including military supplies.

In July, however, the Ukrainian president was refused the opportunity to address South America’s Mercosur trade bloc. His virtual address to the African Union in June was reportedly listened to by only four of the 55 African leaders.