How pro-Russia is Bulgaria nowadays?
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev visited President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Tuesday to "resume the political dialogue at the highest level after years of interruption", as he put it. Commentators in Russia and Bulgaria see the visit as a clear sign that EU member states are beginning to value Russia as a partner.
Radev renewing old ties
At his meeting with Putin Radev had to atone for many sins of the past, writes the pro-Russian daily Duma:
“Radev's goal was to resume at the highest level the dialogue which other - Bulgarian and foreign - politicians had put on hold in recent years. ... Certainly his task was not easy, because the sins of these politicians, including Prime Minister Borisov, weigh heavily: turning their backs on the 'South Stream' gas pipeline, on the construction of a Russian nuclear plant in Belene, and on the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline. On top of that there was the political confrontation between the West and Russia, the sanctions, the sabre-rattling and the lack of trust on both sides, none of which were Radev's fault.”
Cosying up à la Merkel
RIA Nowosti comments jubilantly that Western integration is no longer a top priority for Sofia:
“The elites in small countries have understood that the hierarchy to which they swore allegiance is not as global as they thought. Perhaps it's even falling apart, in which case it's unclear which part they should remain loyal to. ... Certainly, it's rather embarrassing to admit that Russia - which was ripped apart and trampled underfoot and which people in the capitals of Eastern European were so fond of sneering at - was right all along. And it's a little unpleasant to propose now that it should forget all that has passed and start all over again from the point just a few years ago when they turned their backs on Russia and adopted Western-style arrogance themselves. But when even the German press is writing that 'while the US president is rocking the planet to its foundations, Merkel is turning to Russia as a stable partner', small countries need not feel ashamed to do the same.”