Analysis 19 Jan 17

Bulgaria’s New President May Disappoint Russia’s Fans

Bulgarian Socialists want Rumen Radev to live up to his reputation as Russia’s friend - but experts doubt that he will do much to change the country’s fundamental Euro-Atlantic orientation. 

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
Rumen Radev. Photo: Beta

Bulgaria’s Socialist-backed new President, Rumen Radev, was due to sworn in at an official ceremony in parliament on Thursday, after winning a convincing victory in the presidential election last November.

Together with Iliyana Yotova, his Vice-President, and a former Socialist MEP, he will be inaugurated on Sunday.

Expectations are high among Socialist Party supporters that Radev will live up to his pro-Russian reputation.

But political analysts in Bulgaria say they doubt the new President, who won the support of nearly 60 per cent of Bulgarians who voted, will divert Bulgaria from its Euro-Atlantic orientation as a full member of the EU and NATO.

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