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MOSCOW, September 29. /TASS/. The Bulgarian government’s decision to change the country’s candidate for the post of the UN secretary general has nothing to do with Russia, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"We have nothing to do with this decision, I would like to emphasize that. It is the Bulgarian leadership’s decision. We do hope it is a sovereign one," the diplomat added.
"As soon as some insinuations emerged concerning the alleged involvement of Russia in Bulgaria’s candidate swap, we have clarified our position and said that we don’t take part in such backroom or front-stage games," Zakharova stated.
She expressed hope that Bulgaria’s citizens would understand that "Russia wasn’t involved in all this." "Although someone seems to have had a great desire to implicate us, to use us as a scapegoat, at least in the information field," Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman added.
On Wednesday, Bulgaria’s government decided to change the country’s candidate for the top UN post. EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva was nominated instead of Irina Bokova, the head of the UN cultural organization UNESCO.
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.