Wall Street Journal: Defeated Socialists Force GERB To Adopt Milder Stance on RussiaWorld | March 27, 2017, Monday // 12:22| views
Bulgaria’s centre-right party won yesterday’s parliamentary elections, winning a victory over an opposition which is trying to direct the country, a member of the EU, towards a rapprochement with Russia. Politicians who are worried by Russian influence in Eastern Europe applauded the unofficial results as a rejection of this view, wrote The Wall Street Journal.
Bulgaria’s elections were followed closely in order to gain an idea as to what extent public opinion in Eastern Europe views favourably the normalisation of ties with Russia which has had sanctions imposed on it due to the annexation of the Crimea in 2014, noted the daily and reminded readers of the cultural and historical ties between Bulgaria and Russia.
The Wall Street Journal points out that, lately, political shifts of layers are being observed in Bulgaria and notes that yesterday’s elections were the third elections in the last four years. Parties which want closer ties with the EU were fragmented, while nationalists, angered by the influx of migrants through Bulgaria on their way to wealthier European countries, multiplied their seats in Parliament.
Politicians who declared themselves for a less aggressive position on the issue of Russia marked an ascent, in particular President Rumen Radev.
A victory for the Socialists who supported Radev for president would mean a huge geopolitical change for Europe. Bulgaria is turning into a more and more strategic country for the EU because of its border with Turkey, along which there is now a fence, so that migrants are prevented from entering Europe illegally. In January next year, Bulgaria will take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU, emphasised the newspaper, cited by BTA.
In spite of being defeated, however, the Socialists made the ruling party GERB assume a stance closer to Russia. During the campaign, GERB’s leaders promised on several occasions an improvement in relations with both Washington and Moscow, wrote The Wall Street Journal.