Former Ambassador of Bulgaria to Russia Ilian Vassilev alleged recently that Russian instructors have so far trained thousands of Bulgarian nationalists against Turkey and refugees. In fact, this means that Russia is interfering into Bulgaria’s internal affairs.
The Russians would hardly care for the words of a man that calls himself “NATO’s battering ram,” were this not a signal sent by the Americans to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov that he must give preference to American interests.
This attempt to split the ruling GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) party proves that they in the West are worried about its nation-oriented policy and, particularly, about Borisov’s reluctance to see his country involved in the anti-Russian NATO Black Sea fleet project. Now that even Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has asked Vladimir Putin to pardon him, this may be bad for Bulgaria.
This is not Borisov’s first anti-American lunge. So, Vassilev’s words were an attempt to cut Borisov down to size and to remind him that Bulgaria is subordinate to the United States. It was also a signal that the Americans support the Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev and Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, whom Borisov was going to dismiss for their support of the project. But Borisov still has a chance to show stamina, especially as he is the favorite of the forthcoming presidential election. And he has already done it by advising Nenchev and Mitov either to join the NATO fleet personally or to send their sons there.
In our times, we, the Bulgarians living in Moscow, were ashamed of Vassilev, who still does not speak Russian. The Russian guests were laughing at him on Mar 2003, when he was speaking at the celebration of Bulgaria’s national holiday (the liberation from the Turkish slavery at the expense of the lives of more than 200,000 Russian soldiers). I was so ashamed for my country that I was ready to sink through the floor. But one of the Russian guests told me to take it easy – as the key thing about Vassilev at that time was that his wife was a top manager at Balkan Pharmaceuticals and had a joint business with the then mayor of Moscow. Today, Vassilev has only one business left – anti-Russian and anti-Communist rhetoric.
In the meantime, Borisov enjoys high popularity in his country and has quite strong presidential ambitions. He is the best option for Bulgaria for the moment. His key rivals are the defense and foreign ministers. If Borisov gets rid of them, he will enjoy even higher support from local nationalists. This is exactly why Vassilev is telling such lies.
Georgy Kolarov (Varna), specially for EADaily