Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister has lambasted Patriarch Kirill of Moscow (Vladimir Gundyayev) after his visit to the country.
On Saturday, Bulgaria marked the 140th anniversary of the signing of the 1878 San Stefano Treaty that ended the war and proclaimed Bulgaria’s independence. Kirill and Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch Neofit conducted a remembrance service. During his stay, the Patriarch criticized the Bulgarians in the presence of the leader of the country. In particular, he expressed his disappointment with the nation’s interpretation of the liberation from the Turks: the Bulgarian state mentioned as liberators other countries – equally with Russia.
“Bulgaria was liberated by Russia, not by Poland, Lithuania or Finland”, Patriarch Kirill commented. According to the Patriarch. the Bulgarians ‘diminish Russia’s role in these events’.
In response, Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria Valeri Simeonov said in an interview with public broadcaster that Patriarch Kirill, who is known as a KGB agent and ‘cigarette Metropolitan of Russia’, had no right to lecture Bulgaria about the right way of things.
“This man has not descended from heaven, he is not a messenger of Jesus Christ. Kirill is known as the ‘cigarette Metropolitan of Russia’. Since 1996, he has earned $14 bn on duti-free importing cigarettes [to Russia]. This cunning fellow earned $14 bn on cigarettes and $4 bn – on importing wine under the pretense of church needs [and without paying excise duties],” he said.
“He has a private aircraft, a villa in Switzerland, a $30,000 watch. What is he? He is not an Eastern Orthodox cleric. He is Agent Mikhailov, a second-class agent of the Soviet KGB, which is proven. And this person has the conscience to give us lectures about the truth in front of the president?!” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.
Simeonov also recalled Vladimir Putin’s untrue claim that Saints Cyril and Methodius came from Byzantium and wondered what would happen if Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit went to Moscow and started teaching history to the Russian president.