The first regular and routine protocol meeting of the new Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska ended with a diplomatic blunder – an hour after receiving a courteous conversation with the Ambassador of Montenegro, the same state introduced new strict restrictions on the entry of Bulgarians into the Balkan country, and our Foreign Ministry did not react in any way: on the contrary, the diplomatic office issued two ridiculous press releases.
It all started with a routine announcement that Minister Genchovska had received Montenegrin Ambassador Snezana Radovic on the occasion of the end of her term in Bulgaria. Aside from the obvious mistake in the title – Montenegro (Cherna gora / Черна гора) was written with a capital “G”, the text explained how reports are and how they should be developed, for example by improving transport links, which are currently almost non-existent.
“Bulgaria and Montenegro are friendly countries that benefit from good and reliable bilateral cooperation“said the new minister.
Impressive photos from the meeting show that Bulgarian official Sergei Andreev and an employee of the press center are present, but there are no longer any experienced diplomats like the director of the South-East Europe Directorate Vanya Malakova, for example, which is critical, especially in the situation where Genchovska was forced by the Prime Minister to dismiss his political cabinet, filled with retirees from the Communist secret services.
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This is probably due to the lack of reaction from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the decision of Montenegro, announced an hour later by the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the country introduces new aggravating requirements for Bulgarian nationals.
In addition to a green certificate, Bulgarians must present a “negative result of a PCR test carried out within 72 hours of entry Montenegro“.
Asked by Club Z how incoming Bulgarians would test negative for 72 hours after entering the country, the press center of the Foreign Ministry said it was talking about a test carried out 72 hours before arriving in the country.
Aside from the confused instructions for travelers, apparently none of the diplomats reported to the Minister in time the letter from our Embassy in Podgorica with the new restrictions in order to raise the matter with the Ambassador. Outside of politics reports, the main task of Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to look after the interests of Bulgarians abroad and in diplomacy reports, it is considered an exceptional manifestation of bad taste after such a bilateral meeting that one country imposes unfavorable conditions on the other. At least because it puts our country in a ridiculous situation.
It turns out that either the restrictions on Bulgarians were agreed upon during the meeting with the Ambassador and the Bulgarian the minister accepted them (which is absurd), or our ministry did not ask them not to present them – especially on a day when we explained in diplomatic terms our affection for Montenegro. In both cases, this means that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not do its job. At least the farewell protocol meeting with the ambassador could have been postponed, a sign that we do not accept these new measures.