More work on Bulgaria and the US missile defense shield…Crimea…
ISTANBUL- I’ve got a new article out this month on Bulgaria and the US missile defense shield.
“Our history is more than 13 centuries,” said Plamen Pantev, director of the
Institute for Security and International Studies think tank in Sofia. “We have
freedom to think of ourselves as a very independent and adequately dignified state
that has been, in the middle ages, a great power of Europe. Later things changed.”
That change came from centuries of Ottoman occupation, from which Russia
eventually freed Bulgaria. Because of this, Pantev said, Bulgarians will always
have a special affinity for Russia. “In fact, Bulgarian self-perception … is as
a country that has also given a lot to Russia, that is seen as dominating over
Bulgaria,” he explained. “The Cyrillic alphabet and orthodox religion came from
Bulgaria, even the creation of the Russian state became a reality thanks to the
support of Bulgarian troops.”
The competing US and Russian presence along the Black Sea is a subject I am actively following. While this story was focused on the plans for components of the future US missile defense shield to be placed in Bulgaria, I have done work on the Russian presence in the “flashpoint” city of Sevastopol in Crimea here, here & here.