Analysis 25 Oct 16

US-Russian Tensions Expose Divide Inside Bulgaria

Worsening conflict between the US and Russia is adding to confusion over Bulgaria's foreign policy, and highlighting a historic divide between fans and foes of ‘Grandfather Ivan’.

Mariya Cheresheva
Pro-Russian rally in Sofia. Photo: BIRN

East-West strains over Syria are causing tension inside Bulgaria where both supporters and opponents of Russia are well entrenched.

The European Council on Thursday and Friday met in Brussels to debate possible new sanctions against Russia over its bombardment of rebel positions in the eastern half of the besieged city of Aleppo.

The council failed to reach a consensus because of the internal divisions over Russia among EU member countries.

“What is happening in the Syrian city of Aleppo is intolerable. If sanctions [against Russia] are tough enough to return everyone on the negotiating table, then I am absolutely up for them,” Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said on Thursday, to the surprise of move.

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