Balkan Insight: Bulgaria's Impossible Balancing Act

Views on BG | August 30, 2016, Tuesday // 13:29|  views

Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week. Photo: BGNES

Fear, rather than ambition, is driving Bulgaria's juggling act between Turkey, Russia and the EU, according to an analysis published by Balkan Insight, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)'s English-language website.

The author, Dimitar Bechev, comments on recent moves by Bulgaria to turn down a Romanian plan to boost NATO defense in the Black Sea, to seek rapprochement with Russia on energy projects, and to hand over an alleged Fethullah G?len supporter to Turkey and act as Ankara's messenger to the EU.

Downplaying the hypothesis of Bulgaria's excessive dependence on Russia, Turkey, the EU and the US, he argues the actions of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov are driven by his instinct "to avert risks and avoid conflict".

"Domestically, he threw his weight behind a big-tent coalition, which provides all manner of parties and leaders a place under the sun. Internationally, Borissov is driven by fear rather than ambition," Bechev writes.

The full text is available here.

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Tags: Bulgaria, turkey, Russia, EU, US, migrants, energy, Fethullah Gulen, Balkan Insight, Dimitar Bechev


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