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Attempts to influence decisions on candidates for UN head position unacceptable

September 11, 2016, 15:33 UTC+3

Maria Zakharova also said that messages of the Bulgarian press that Russia is allegedly involved in the "game-change candidates" are lies

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Maria Zakharova

Maria Zakharova

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. The attempts to influence decision of countries as they initiate candidates for the position of the UN secretary general are unacceptable, and the information in the Bulgarian media, claiming Russia could support actions of the kind, are lies, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said on Sunday in response to a request from TASS to comment on reports in the Bulgarian media saying Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel allegedly had persuaded Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to support Bulgaria’s candidate Kristalina Georgieva instead of Sofia’s earlier initiated candidature of Irina Bokova.

"Not so long ago, on the fringes of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, the German chancellor tried to discuss with Russian leaders a possible support by the Russian side of a Bulgarian candidate - different from the officially nominated one," Zakharova said. "To that, Ms. Merkel was told clearly and straightforwardly that a country’s nomination of a candidate for position of the UN secretary general is an exclusively sovereign decision of that country and any attempts to influence directly or indirectly decisions of the kind are not acceptable."

"We have seen materials published in the Bulgarian media, claiming Russia is involved in games of shuffling candidates and the Bulgarian leaders planned to change their decision and appoint a new candidate under influence from some outside players. They (the games) cannot be called other than an attempt to involve this country in some shadow plays," the foreign ministry’s spokeswoman added.

On February 11, 2016, Bulgaria’s representation at the United Nations Organization nominated UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova Bulgaria’s candidate for the position of the UN secretary general.

The position of the UN secretary general held by South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon since 2007 will become vacant on January 1, 2017. A candidate should gain the support from nine members, including all the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. According to the UN Charter, the organization’s head is appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendations from the Security Council.

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