'How Bulgarian Political Elite Betrayed Russia'

Views on BG | October 22, 2014, Wednesday // 12:25| Views: | Comments: 39
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Bulgaria: 'How Bulgarian Political Elite Betrayed Russia'

In an analysis entitled "How Bulgarian Political Elite Betrayed Russia" the Russian think tank Centre for Political Analysis claims that Bulgarian oligarch groups deny access to political life of pro-Russian parties and circles.

"The ordinary citizens continue to sympathise with Russia, but due to the power of oligarchic clans, they cannot politically realise their sympathies," writes the think tank, which is part of the Russian TASS wire service.

The publication notes the recent diplomatic controversy between Bulgaria and Russia on Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev's interview for Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which he called Russia “an aggressive nationalist state”.

According to the analysis, GERB's victory at the early elections held on October 5, were not “optimistic for the perspectives on Bulgarian-Russian relations”. It also quotes the head of Lenta.ru's analytical service Maksim Zharov that one of the reasons for the early elections in Bulgaria was “the refusal of the previous government to buckle under EU pressure regarding the South Stream pipeline.”

In Zharov's words, Bulgaria was not much different than Serbia in its sentiments towards Russia, where there were “plenty of public movements which co-operate with Russia and political parties with pro-Russian orientation”, but unlike Serbia, “Bulgaria is controlled by oligarch clans with EU orientation”.

According to Zharov, the political system in Bulgaria was organised in such a way that it was “disregarding the interests of the citizens who sympathise with Russia.”

Zharov, however, is convinced that the situation can be remedied. "Bulgarians still have very good attitutde towards Russia," he claims. "But we must be more proactive in our presence in this country, to implement the technologies of "soft power" and influence Bulgaria's political life."

Russian political scientist Boris Shmelyov is quoted in the analysis complaining that Bulgaria was much more obliged to Russia because of the USSR, than Serbia, but chose the West, unlike Serbia.

"Back in the day some Bulgarian politicians theoretised that Bulgaria can not be an ally of Russia, but must not be its enemy," Shmelyov said. "But the current Bulgarian government and the political elite, unfortunately, do not apply this principle."

Publicist Yakov Shustov, who lives in Bulgaria's coast city of Varna claims the Bulgarian pepople traditionally loves the Russians, even more so because of the "generosity of Russian tourists."

According to Shustov, there was a certain hostility towards Russia agains the ruling class, but it was a "cliche fed by Western propaganda from the Cold War era".

As an example of the positive attitude of Bulgarians toward Russians, Shustov tells how he gave to a Bulgarian friend of his a badge of Russia's ruling party "Unified Russia" and now he wears it proudly like an order.

The publication also notes that in Bulgaria were sold t-shirts with Vladimir Putin's face.

"I have never faced negative attitude towards Russians – quite the contrary, when the Bulgarians find out I am Russian and not Ukrainian, they become really friendly, however understandably not very enthusiastic," Shustov said.

He also notes that the public sentiment in Bulgaria towards the South Stream pipeline was complicated, because "people think that it will be build by foreign companies, mostly from the EU, and the Bulgarians will be set aside. There is a very strong negative sentiment towards the EU and its potential participation in South Stream makes the project less attractive."

According to Shustov, as a whole Bulgarians don't like their politicians and the previous government, considered by many as pro-Russian, made many mistakes and they soured the Bulgarian-Russian relations.


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Tags: Russia, Bulgaria, relations, Bulgarians, Russians, Vladimir Putin, EU, South stream, Serbia, oligarchs, early elections, Rosen Plevneliev, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Centre for Political Analysis
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» To the forumComments (39)
Thunderstorm - 29 Oct 2014 // 23:59:56

You may not be a prostitute but what you write is pure nonsense and an obvious proof of naivity. How can you compare Russian pensions to Bulgarian without comparing the cost and quality of life at the same time? Russia earns lots of money on its oil and gas exports what boosts the exchange rate of the rouble. If this exports breaks Russia will sink into poverty. Compare what you can get for Bulgarian pension in Sofia or Burgas to what an average Russian pensioner can get in Moscow or Petersburg, it is more or less the same. You seem to be new to eastern Europe so I will tell you that before 1989 Serbia was economically on a much higher level than Bulgaria but now it is the opposite. The main reason is the fact that Bulgaria joined the EU and Serbia didn't.

Lana J. - 29 Oct 2014 // 23:07:33

@Fester. Ha-Ha-Ha! Prostitute? 70 years old? I doubt I would have many 'clients' , dude! Besides, I have a husband, a Bulgarian one.
We live in Sofia for more than 7 years after leaving UK and I am familiar with the situation in the country, sometimes to a point of frustration, seeing young people being brainwashed to believe the West is good and the East is evil. There is enough sh$$t on both sides, however East is better for Bulgaria on all counts.

Fester - 28 Oct 2014 // 17:40:38

"They think, because they are from the West, they are the highest grade of people and superior to Bulgarians. Shame, that Bulgarians not only allow them to think that, but they themselves believe it to be true. Russians, on the other hand, respect Bulgarians as equal and at times put them one step above themselves."

***Russian paid prostitute troll alert***

Lana J. - 28 Oct 2014 // 16:24:23

It is obvious, a lot of comments here are written by Ukrainian trolls pretending they are Bulgarians. Next lot - uneducated Western 'know it all's'. They think, because they are from the West, they are the highest grade of people and superior to Bulgarians. Shame, that Bulgarians not only allow them to think that, but they themselves believe it to be true. Russians, on the other hand, respect Bulgarians as equal and at times put them one step above themselves. Usually, when the Russian is not a 'big bag of money'. As for Crimea - read Wikipedia, it will open your eyes on the fact that that part of the world was Russian and was unlawfully given to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1954 without referendum, without consultations, just given as a present because he was half Ukrainian himself. Also, Ukrainians should look in their back yard and answer for the land they grab from Poland. Cheeky b$$7rds!

Lana J. - 28 Oct 2014 // 16:06:51

@Chris Knight, And your comment is a pure Western propaganda. 'Better standards of living'... where, in Bulgaria? Are you joking? I don't know where your wife came from, but what I had seen in Bulgaria is a poverty, dirty Cities - including Varna. Just ask an ordinary Bulgarian pensioner who worked 30 years+ about the size of his/her pension and then compare it to a pension of Russian ordinary citizen.You will find that Russian pension is twice the size of Bulgarian. The biggest mistake Bulgarian ever did is to join EU. It was a loss for Bulgarian people, but a great gain for their oligarchs. I will vote UKIP to get Britain out that rat-hole EU.

Fester - 28 Oct 2014 // 13:36:23

"it's that they are so comically unshakable in the faith into their own phantoms ;-) "

Prostitutes, prostitutes and more prostitutes, if that country got rid of half of those pesky streetwalking online and real street whores, it would be a bit bitter........;-)

sa-sha - 28 Oct 2014 // 12:42:10

"The annexation of the Crimea", "[Russia] being worldwide(!) perceived as a country next to the Third Reich",
"Literally no one trusts Russia anymore", "a new Maidan, this time - in Moscow"-----!!!!!;-).....what I like in such
great "authors", it's that they are so comically unshakable in the faith into their own phantoms ;-)

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 03:23:38

DA te eba u nishtozhnia komunistichsko-atakistko-ruski pluvalnik!

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:49:50

Da ti eba maikata dano puknesh ti i semeistvoto ti!

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:48:25

Dear pro-russian fuckwits, you are in the past and will stay there, go to Russia or die!

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:46:32

Ti si absoluten idiot. Vzemi da chetesh neshto poveche or ruski sitove. Da ti eba maikata komunistichesko-atakisko-ruska!

Warfou - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:45:06

The annexation of the Crimea was Russia's huge mistake. The reputation loss is enorm, it is now being worldwide perceived as a country next to the Third Reich. Literally no one trusts Russia anymore, including even the Lukashenko's Byelarus, their last ally. On a longer term, the sanctions and drop of oil prices will lead to a new Maidan, this time - in Moscow.

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:33:03

Do not listen to Yane, hi is not a Bulgarian, he is a paid Russian PR. Shut up and mind your own business stupid russians!

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:30:24

Death to Russia, long live independent and free Bulgaria!

jordy - 28 Oct 2014 // 02:29:31

DA ti eba maikata Iane zashto ne hvanesh da puknesh!

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