In general, since the beginning of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, Bulgaria's ruling elite has pursued a foreign policy that can be described as a "geopolitical twine." As a member of the European Union and NATO, Bulgaria remains loyal to these institutions, while trying to maintain a profitable business relationship with the Russian Federation.
Such opinion expressed by the head of the NISS Southern Region Research Unit, Artem Fylypenko during the webinar: "Geopolitics. 30 Years After. Ukraine and Bulgaria. Life after communism”. The event with the participation of Ukrainian and Bulgarian experts was organized by the New Geopolitics Research Network platform.
The expert noted that on the one hand, Bulgaria did not officially recognize the so-called "referendum" in 2014 in Crimea, on the other - in February 2015 the occupied Crimea was visited by a delegation of Bulgarian parliamentarians led by ATAKA leader Volen Siderov, who declared recognition of this event.
Also the expert noted that the Bulgarian National Security Strategy states that "the Republic of Bulgaria considers the Black Sea region in a broad European and Euro-Atlantic context to deepen cooperation between countries in the field of economy, trade and security.
This region is especially important in the context of the development of the network of transportation of major energy sources, connecting producer countries with energy markets in Europe.
"The document mentions that the crisis in Ukraine and the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula lead to a violation of the geostrategic and military balance, while the Russian Federation is not mentioned in this context." - noted Artem Fylypenko.
An important issue in bilateral relations, according to the expert, is the issue of the Bulgarian diaspora in Ukraine, most of which live compactly in the Odessa region. In particular, Russia is trying to exploit the political sentiments of the region's residents. In April 2015, an attempt to proclaim the so-called "Bessarabian People's Republic" was made. Also there were the other provocations against the Bulgarian community.
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Video: New Geopolitics Research Network, НІСД