Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgaria Does Not See Russia as a Strategic Problem

Adelina Marini, December 18, 2014

One of the main issues at today's EU summit will be Russia. The new European Council President Donald Tusk will seek a consensus between the prime ministers and presidents of the 28 member states on a new strategy on Russia, built on the foundation of a modern, stable, independent Ukraine, as well as Mr Tusk's view that Russia is a strategic problem. This, however, can emeerge as a difficult thesis to support by all the 28 leaders. Asked by euinside, the Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov firmly disagreed with it saying that Russia has been for centuries a friend of Bulgaria.

"I cannot agree with such extreme assessments when it comes to a state like Russia. We have seen lots of good from it in terms of our Liberation most of all. Many Russian soldiers died for our freedom. If there is, at the moment, a president or a prime minister in Russia who, for one reason or another, with his actions in Ukraine, in Crimea, has created tensions in Europe, we can discuss him, not Russia as a state. The Russian people, the Russian culture have always been and long after me will be very close to the Bulgarian people", said Mr Borissov. He added that he did not expect new sanctions against Russia nor an abolishment of the old ones. Donald Tusk's idea is the existing sanctions, imposed because of Russia's annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol, to become more efficient.