Bulgarian president Rosen Plevneliev in his recent interview to BBC said that Russia is trying to divide Europe to weaken it. Divide and rule, this old axiom is still working perfectly, especially today when Presidential elections have started,
Bulgaria warns its neighbours about Russian attempts to divide Europe, the president Rosen Plevneliev told in his interview about Russian influence in his country. Bulgaria isn’t only one country where Russia has a lot of supporters among the politicians, whole Europe needs to take a stronger line, Mr Plevneliev added.
On Sunday, Bulgarians are going to elect the new president and the issues of foreign policy are extremely important to the small European country. Mr Plevneliev, who is not standing for re-election, will step down in January. In the interview, president Plevneliev reminds the wave of cyber attacks during a 2015 referendum and local elections, the hackers were, reportedly, linked to Russia.
Now, Bulgaria is afraid of returning to the Cold War, the current its variation is a “Cold Peacetime” instead. The threat now is less about Russian tanks invading Europe and more about Russian influence dividing the Europe, Mr Plevneliev argues:
“The game in Europe today is not to have a full-scale war and to shoot against your enemy, but the game of Mr Putin is to make other countries dependent. What today Russia is trying to achieve is to weaken Europe, to divide Europe and to make us dependent.”
Bulgaria’s economy is linked to Russia on at least 20%, according to Martin Vladimirov, an analyst at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia who co-authored ‘The Kremlin’s Playbook’, a report on Russian influence in the region. He explained the influence of Russian Federation on Bulgaria in the terms of economics:
“Russia has been able to leverage its economic influence to capture key institutions in the country”.