The European Commission Representation building in Sofia, which is also home to the Bureau of the European Parliament, was smeared with red paint during a protest on Sunday (21 May) by supporters of the pro-Russian “Vazrazhdane” party, including several MPs from the party.
The protest was announced on the Facebook page of Vazrazhdane (Revival), who said they would go to the EC building in Sofia to protest “against Brussels’ interference in our internal affairs”.
Vazrazhdane is openly pro-Russian and is campaigning against military assistance to Ukraine and against Bulgaria joining the eurozone.
The demonstration, which took place in the afternoon, blocked traffic on the Rakovski Street in central Sofia in front of the House of Europe, as the building is known, for about half an hour. Activists threw red paint, seemingly representing blood, to protest against the EU military support to Ukraine.
There was an increased police presence in the area but no violent incidents were reported.
The building of the European Commission in Sofia pic.twitter.com/XkzrtFakNL
— Seyhan De Boeck (@SilSeyDB) May 21, 2023
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 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. #SlavaUkraini pic.twitter.com/IHB38RCkXs
— Roberta Metsola (@EP_President) May 21, 2023
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.
“Vazrazhdane” won 13.5% in the 2 April elections and have 37 MPs in the 240-seat parliament. This party is banking on pro-Russian sentiments among many Bulgarians, rooted in history.
Bulgaria is in a deep political crisis following several failures to form a government. The current attempt by former EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel is also doomed to fail, according to pundits.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]
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