Western elites are struggling to find common ground between the United States and Europe on matters related to China and trade, yet they have a broad consensus on a pressing defense issue — Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile system is damaging to NATO, and if completed, sanctions against Ankara are imminent — according to a surprise Turkish-language BBC report detailing discussions that took place last week at the secretive Bilderberg conference. Another key takeaway from the Bilderberg group’s conference held last weekend in Montreux, Switzerland is that elites are concerned about what another financial crisis would do to the vulnerable European Union. Western elites see economic growth as a useful tool in their battle against populism and nationalism, but in the case that the European economy were
Some time ago, a Kharkiv-based site hosted a typical Kremlin propaganda piece featuring an ultimatum to the Bulgarian government – either you agree and secure free passage for Turk Stream, ignoring EU and US reservations, or Gazprom will shut off natural gas supply, and Bulgarians will freeze next winter. Such provocative language blended with ultimatums is hardly what the Russian government can afford, at least at the formal level. Neither Maria Zaharova, nor Peskov, nor Putin, nor Lavrov would openly threaten a nuclear first strike. This is where the hybrid Russian “scaremongering” machine comes into play – the radical loose-talk politicians like Zhirinovsky, or media makers like Kiseljov, or the cloak and dagger “knights” like Leonid Reshetnikov. Working in the shade and in halftones, they seek to
The ratification of the Macedonia name deal between Athens and Skopje on Friday capped a year in which the West renewed its focus on integrating the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic community. Bulgaria factored into the renewed push to integrate the region into NATO and the EU because Sofia made Western Balkan integration a focal point of its European Council presidency that spanned the first half of 2018. Sofia capped its EU presidency by hosting the EU-Western Balkans summit last May. The summit was a high-level gathering of EU and Western Balkan leaders, the first of its kind in 15 years. Now that 2018 is complete and the Macedonia name dispute has been settled, one can have a clearer look at the fruits of Bulgaria’s push to
2018 was supposed to be a year in which Serbia and Kosovo made progress in resolving their longstanding territorial dispute. This year, the European Union moderated more dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, or at least tried to, and set a target date of 2025 for Serbia to join the bloc, an accession that hinges on Serbia striking a deal with Kosovo on normalizing relations. Additionally, a major breakthrough occurred in the middle of the year in another longstanding dispute in the region, the Macedonia name dispute, giving hope that similar progress may occur in Serbia-Kosovo relations. Yet, 2018 is concluding with Pristina imposing and hiking tariffs on imports from Serbia (and from Bosnia) and voting to turn the Kosovo Security Force into a regular army. Meanwhile, Belgrade is
An indirect benefit of a possible F-16 deal for the Bulgarian Air Force is that the Kremlin’s visible agents of influence will emerge on the surface – individuals like Rumen Petkov, Parvanov, Mareshki and Siderov. Borisov’s GERB will have to, at least temporarily, subdue their pro-Russian hedge. One of the largest problems of Bulgarian democracy has been that membership in the EU and NATO did not succeed debate over, or a search for, common ground on the costs and benefits and the risks and the challenges that the budget and the people will face. To a large extent, geopolitical arguments supersede an elaborate and discrete process that often ends in troubled waters. The rare instances when trying to engage in winning hearts and minds by the reborn nomenclature, motivated
Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.
Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.
‘Fort Trump’ said the Polish president Andrzej Duda, during a White House press conference last week, would be an appropriate name to call the first American military base in Poland. Whether this Polish dream comes to pass or not is yet to be seen, but the strategic rationale behind it is anything but the joke US pundits took it to be. It is, in fact, an incapsulation of the dilemma facing Eastern Europe and with it, NATO and the United States. For barely concealed behind it is a multitude of challenges that must be addressed without delay if a serious crisis in Europe and the alliance is to be avoided. At the bottom of it is the seemingly unavoidable conflict over Muslim immigration. Virtually all of Eastern Europe
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/14/2018. And so by mid-2018, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has achieved virtually everything he sat out to achieve when he first came to power in 2003. Turkey is now in everything but the name an Islamist dictatorship with Erdogan as the unchallenged leader. Yet, instead of feeling supremely confident, Erdogan and his clique are beset by ineluctable problems and foreboding of disaster down the road. In many ways, this was inevitable and stems from the very nature of the radical transformation of an imperfect democracy into an oppressive tyranny. Disaster for Turkey may not be around the bend, it was thought, but it was inevitable sooner rather than later. The collapse of the Turkish lira last Friday may have signaled that ‘sooner’ is now. To