Fears of Slavic fall out over Ukraine
There are fears a friendship spanning decades between Russia and Bulgaria might be nearing an end as tensions mount over Ukraine.
A bitter exchange between the Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, and a number of Russian politicians has sparked an international row between the two countries.
Following the Ukrainian crisis and the annexation of Crimea, Plevneliev referred to Russia as a “nationalist, aggressive state” and to Vladimir Putin as a “president who does not regard Europe as a partner, but as an opponent” during an interview for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Response didn’t come late, as the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky retaliated on Russia 1 TV, calling Plevneliev an “ordinary lackey of the CIA” and “a scoundrel.”
“All of Bulgaria is grateful,” he continued. “that Russia liberated them from the Turkish slavery. He attacks Russia – his saviour – instead of crawling in our feet.”
The situation escalated when the Bulgarian Ministry of Defense announced the exchange of Russian fighter jets for American military aircrafts. Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin responded on Twitter: “[Bulgaria] to betray Russia again… in favour of used jets.”
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov responded to the exchange in an official statement, reminding the Russian officials that “the Republic of Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the EU” and that it is not obliged to “explain its sovereign decisions to third countries.”