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Saturday, December 2, 2023

EU Offices in Sofia Vandalized by Pro-Russian Party

Supporters of the pro-Russian “Vazrazhdane” party, including several MPs, vandalized the European Commission Representation building in Sofia on Sunday (21 May) by smearing it with red paint. This building also houses the Bureau of the European Parliament.

The protest was organized and announced through Vazrazhdane’s Facebook page. The party expressed their discontent with what they perceive as Brussels’ interference in Bulgaria’s internal affairs. Vazrazhdane openly advocates for pro-Russian policies and opposes both military assistance to Ukraine and Bulgaria’s entry into the eurozone.

Taking place in the afternoon, the demonstration disrupted traffic on Rakovski Street, a central area in Sofia, near the House of Europe building. The protesters threw red paint, symbolizing blood, as a form of protest against the EU’s military support for Ukraine.

Although there was an increased police presence in the vicinity, no violent incidents were reported during the protest.

European Parliament chief Roberta Metsola condemned the vandalism.

“The building housing the European Parliament Liaison Office in Sofia was targeted by vandals unhappy with our stance in support of Ukraine. We will clean it up. Our backing of Ukraine will get stronger. Our voice condemning Russia’s invasion will only get louder,” she tweeted.

The Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also condemned the attack in Sofia.

“Such acts contrast in an incompatible counterbalance to modern Bulgaria, as well as to the democratic values that our country embodies,” the ministry said.

The party “Vazrazhdane” achieved a 13.5% vote share in the elections held on 2 April, resulting in the party securing 37 out of the 240 seats in the parliament.

Vazrazhdane strategically appeals to pro-Russian sentiments that are deeply ingrained in Bulgarian history, hoping to capitalize on this sentiment.

Bulgaria finds itself embroiled in a significant political crisis, characterized by a series of unsuccessful attempts to form a government.

According to experts’ analysis, the ongoing endeavor led by former EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel is also anticipated to face failure.

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