Happy March 3! Thanks, Russia, Regards to US, Keep in Mind Who's Who
George Veltchev has studied, lived and worked in Moscow, Sofia, Harare, Vienna, Paris, Boston and London. He holds master's and doctor's degrees in economics from the Vienna Economics University, and master of business administration from Harvard and Insead. He is a reserve officer of the Bulgarian army and has taught economics at Harvard College and the Sofia University Kliment Ohridski, was elected President of the Harvard Club of Bulgaria in the first year from its inauguration in 2001, and is a long-standing investor in Bulgaria.
The opinion published here is his own, has not been edited and does not express the opinions of this newspaper, or any other institution, to which he may have been or is currently related.
It is March 3rd and on the National Day of Bulgaria, I am reading the newest reports in the western, but also "eastern", press and media, where Obama is waving his finger again, as if he himself still believes his own threats, Hague is warning Moscow that invading Crimea would lead to "substantial losses", and Kerry altogether behaves in a "19th-century fashion" and threatens like a Bulgarian "insurer" of the 90s with "all options on the table" and a language, which, if mirrored by Lavrov, would prompt Obama to recall his ambassador in Moscow. Meanwhile, Putin's laughter is resonating all the way from the Kremlin to Rublevka, and I seem to hear it as far as Kensington.
The issue of Ukraine is of particular interest to me for several reasons – first, the arrogance of the US exceeds for the first time the levels of the bilateral relations with the Soviet Union from the peak of the Cold War. Just 50 years ago, such behaviour would have prompted Kennedy to launch the nuclear missiles towards Russia.
Second, the similarities with our own "backyard" are striking – the trade mark of the pro-American politicians is "if we win the elections, we start looting, if we lose, we start demonstrating for new elections until we win". It's a win-win scenario for us! Let the others pay the price.
Third, and most important, I struggle to understand the motivation of the European politicians who chose to inflame the tragedy, imposed by far-right and self-proclaimed neo-fascist groups on the entire Ukrainian population. As if "trumping" Russia is a good reason and excuse for the suffering of 46 million people. Are these the European ideals that these people are striving toward? And we lived in the illusion that it was democracy and peace that we had been dreaming of, rather than covering "populist terror" with the thin veil of misconceived European values.
Last, but not least, the most interesting long-term issue is the predictability of the policies of the "current superpowers" – the question of the territorial integrity of countries with minorities, and what are the doctrines they follow. To date, the EU member states have firmly taken the side of the right to peaceful self-determination – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, but the best example, without any doubt, is Great Britain – in the case of the Scottish referendum. Russia, on the other hand, has always proclaimed the doctrine of territorial integrity, with the notable exception of South Ossetia, where the defence of the Russian population was the noted underlying reason.
The most curious case, as usual, is the USA – Bosnia and Herzegovina are allowed to leave Yugoslavia, but the Serbian Republic within it is not, Kosovo can secede from Serbia, but Serbian Kosovo cannot secede from it. Kurdistan cannot leave Turkey or Iraq, but, if Iraq becomes as insubordinate as Afghanistan, maybe it can. Chechnya can and absolutely must secede from Russia, but South Ossetia cannot leave Georgia, and Crimea cannot leave Ukraine. Czech Republic and Slovakia can split, and Germany can unify, but these processes would break international law if applied to Ukraine and Russia. It's a real confusion – to me, at least, Uncle Sam's logic is a puzzle. And what is the common denominator in it – do you need a small or a large minority to justify a referendum? Should they be Christian or Muslim, so that Victoria Newland allows them to secede? Should they be democrats or terrorists so that the US does not bomb them?
As it looks, the main common characteristic is whether they are pro-American or anti-American. If they are pro-American, they can be Taliban, or Al Qaeda, or Pinochet – they will have Uncle Sam's blessing. If they are anti-American, there is no need for a UN resolution, and if there is a need, but Russia or China are against it, then it is not mandatory, but simply desirable – either way, NATO will get mobilised, and they will be taken care of. To be quite honest, under these premises, I can absolutely understand our political leaders from Ivan Kostov to Boyko Borisov – if we do not clearly and visibly align ourselves with the US, who knows, we could wake up tomorrow with Strandja and part of the Rodopi mountains under the big red flag with the white crescent.
My choice of March 3rd for sharing my views was not random – I am convinced that every sane Bulgarian has no doubt whatsoever that, 136 years ago on this day, Russia liberated Bulgaria purely from Christian and human compassion, and not for geopolitical reasons. This is not to say that the Russian empire did not want to limit the reach of the Ottoman empire, but every historian would agree that Bulgaria had not been a critical piece of the imperial puzzle.
Just as everyone would agree that NATO invaded Serbia in order to "trump" Russia in the American style of "there is a new sheriff in town", and not to prevent the abuse of the minority by the majority – we all like to believe in the beautiful tales about the fair Uncle Sam who will not allow the bad bully to abuse the helpless child, but somehow, on the backdrop of the consistent rampage of Kurdish villages and the hundreds of thousands of victims in Turkey under the careful approval of the US, and the quiet support for Pinochet – the favourite disciple of the CIA – these tales remain as beautiful and hollow as the stories of the tooth fairy from our childhood.
So let's call things by their real names – let's thank Russia for continuing to treat us as brothers for centuries, despite the many years of ungrateful Bulgarian politicians, let's send our regards to Uncle Sam, and ask him to stay away from where he does not belong, and let's not forget who is who in our little backyard called Europe.
- » NY Times: As Support for EU Flags Elsewhere, Bulgaria Sees Its Benefits
- » DW: German Businesses Prefer Trade with Bulgaria over Investment
- » The Economist: Bulgaria, Moldova Presidents 'Less Pro-Russian Than Advertised'
- » AFP: Bulgaria's Radev 'Struck a Chord by Attacking the Status Quo'
- » Politico: Bulgaria May Veer Shaprly Back into Moscow Orbit after Presidential Vote
- » Bulgaria's Radev 'Benefited from Popular Resentment against Coalition' - FT
Why should anyone be surprised that this Veltchev guy is a regular columnist at Novinite? Tetrareal AD which is Veltchev's hotel vehicle is on the board of Novinite AD. And why should you be surprised at the things he has written? He is one of the owners/managers of VTB Capital and we know who they are and what they do. Veltchev’s mask has dropped and he has shown his true colours, not that it was not clear beforehand. Having hidden itself in the closet for the last twenty-odd years, anti-Americanism in Bulgaria has started rearing its ugly head upon the newly-proclaimed imperial ambitions of Russia whose serfs’ hands are itching for action. However, Russia is going to lose out in the end, sooner or later. The evil may prevail for a while but the good eventually wins. As to Bulgaria, its main interest is to remain part of the free world and for this free world to continue to exist even at the cost of economic losses. Because if Russia’s aggressive, corrupt and primitive ways take over, nothing will remain of the economy.
Victor Stefanovsky, You are GREAT writer - fantast, may be....but there was another writer, not so great as You, Victor, but he was Realist and he, the person who concidered the liberation of Slavs from the Ottoman yoke as the sacred Duty of Russia, he once wrote:
"I want to say one very special little word about the Slavs, a word which I have long wanted to say. Russia will never have such haters, envious persons, slanders and even obvious enemies as all these Slavic tribes, as soon as they are liberated by Russia..." (Fyodor Dostoyevsky).
"Russia liberated Bulgaria purely from Christian and human compassion, and not for geopolitical reasons. " This is the most STUPID and POISONOUS myth/propaganda, even the apostles of the anti-turkish uprising knew that . It was ALWAYS geopolitical reasons for Russia! That's why at a certain point they've cut off all relations with Russia. Frustrated Zachary Stoyanov said "Да бъде проклета оная минута, когато е стъпил руски крак в нашата земя, когато се е произнесла за първи път думата покровителка и освободителка. Аман, брей, амян! лошо нещо било Московлука." This belief is a result of the communist propaganda repeated over and over again since Kindergaden. Sadly, many people still believe in it. Therefore, Russia will mess with us for many years to come.
Вярно е, че често американците са прекалено толерантни и доверчиви в ущърб на собственото си добро. Такива като автора на този бълвоч не би трябвало да ги пускат да припарят не само в Харвард, а и в САЩ. Talking about biting the hand that feeds you! Най-интересното е, че комунистите и тяхното потомство са едни и същи, и в Украйна и в България. Народите си искат да вкарат в Евразийския Съюз, но спестяванията си вкарват в ЕС. Жалко, че статията е на английски, иначе щяха под нея да се съберат радостно бая ти комунистически гьонове с фуражки и зелени чорапи, с протрито дъно над омазненото олисяло теме и би започнало да смърди на казармена чорба. А като се прибавят и екзалтираните бабишкери с червени кюлоти да метат сърпове и чукове, стой, та гледай. Цял живот в столовата на казармата и вечер - съветска телевизия.
It looks like you would love to see the Nazis come back to Bulgaria.They don't like to hear the truth.What the hell is Klitchko doing in Ukraine who is supported by outsiders?Have you read his e-mails? He is not even living in Ukraine.If he claims patriotism,don't you think he should have had his home in his homeland instead in Germany?You Tatars are useless!
Wow, I had read your previous article regarding hotels and had found it quite interesting. However, after reading your pro-Russian piece and a forum posting about your hotel in Golden Sands, I do see what they mean about your incompetence. The reviews point out to a total disaster of management. Looking back on the piece you wrote, you must be very thick skinned to give such authoritative opinions when you are not an effective manager or businessman.
Regarding your piece on Putin and Russia, I really don't understand how you can make so childish and incoherent comparisons such as the amicable division between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the ethnic cleansing the Kosovar Albanians faced from Milosevic's regime and what is going on in Crimea. Absolutely nothing has happened in Crimea, not a single Russian there has been harmed, abused, beaten, imprisoned or killed. What justification does Russia have for invading its neighbor besides the fact that it does not agree with the removal from power of its client Yanukovych? I think I have to agree with previous postings that point out that this piece is an obvious propaganda tool given your close connections and interests with the Russian government.
I read an interesting article today pointing out that a significant majority of the Russian people oppose Putin's adventure in Crimea. That is remarkable considering that from day 1 all people protesting against the Yanukovych cleptocratic rule where have been savaged by the Russian media being all called unanimously fascists or fascist scum (as a 'brilliant' Putin propagandist that posts daily on this forum likes to call them). Even Putin himself today conceded that the Ukrainian people were fed up with the corruption of Yanukovych and that corruption in Ukraine is even higher than Russia and that he understood the discontent of the people there. Looks like Putin has indeed been reading those polls. Ukrainians are like cousins to Russians, and nobody likes to harm their family. I'm confident the cool heads of the Russian people will prevail in this.
:-).........http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb4g8B54iRo What if to listen to, really?
P.S. Look, bgpotter, what exactly is "a load of communist biased rubbish"? Earlier I've submitted the extract from the piece and asked the same. No answer. Any not "a load" but a Fact, if possible.