Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov planted the blame squarely on Russia and his own country’s powerful mafia after his government lost a no-confidence vote on Wednesday.
Petkov, who only came to power six months ago, was voted in on a pledge to fight the country’s rampant corruption and has pushed Sofia to take an unusually strong line against Russia since the invasion of Ukraine.
In the vote of no-confidence, some 123 lawmakers out of 239 in parliament voted against his cabinet.
“This vote is one tiny step along the very long road ahead of us. I promise we will continue the battle to win the country back and, one day, we will have a Bulgaria without puppet masters, without the mafia — a normal European country,” he said in a valedictory address before the national assembly.
Giving a list of the people who had been instrumental to tearing down his administration, Petkov named the Russian ambassador in Sofia and accused Russia of exercising its influence over his removal through lawmakers from the far-right Revival party. [Continue reading…]