The current state of affairs between Putin’s Russia, Erdogan’s Turkey and Assad’s government in Syria confronting each other in the Idlib area where the constantly shifting positions group of “rebels”, according to one definition and “terrorists” from the opposing point of view, are fighting for control and causing major humanitarian crisis and destruction.
The latest casualties of 33 Turkish soldiers killed by Assad forces supported by the Russians provoked the wrath of Erdogan who immediately issued two belligerent threats simultaneously: one against the Russians, implying direct military confrontation and even denouncing the Montreaux Treaty regulating the access -to and from – The Black Sea via Bosphorus which means that Black Sea will be open for permanent stationing of NATO and US fleet and another – that he might allow 3 or 4 millions migrants and refugees from The Middle East and Syria, currently settled in temporary camps, to move west and inundate and overwhelm the fences and borders of the EU countries.
Behind this angry statements of the Turkish President transpires his clear frustration and exasperation with the Western, US and particularly EU insufficient political, financial and military support for his effort to maintain the integrity of his state and to handle the refugee crisis. He is particularly concerned about Idlib and his fight against Kurdsih and other centrifugal forces in face of the waning internal support for his authoritarian antidemocratic rule from the educated and middle classes in his own country.
If we add to this cauldron of increasingly hot confrontations in military and diplomatic sense the ominous signals from his northern neighbor Russia and the increasing arrogance of her leader the potential of major calamity in the area in the near future are to be taken seriously by the World at large and specifically by Bulgaria which is at the cross point of these geopolitical tectonic forces.
The treat of migrant, military, energy supplies, transportation and trade disasters are becoming more likely, aggravated by other issue like corona virus epidemic and market collapses on a global scale. For all these dangers the current Bulgarian political establishment and institutions appear to be vow-fully ill prepared, totally devoid of national unity and incoherent.
The attempts one to play all sides in the looming and seemingly unavoidable future conflicts, pretending to be some kind of benevolent peacemaker is not commensurate with the relative weight and political significance of the country and to assume a stance of peculiar “balancing” factor on the Balkans.
Unless this is a part of a larger alignment of counties from the Eastern European EU representing the geographical and geopolitical concept called “The Three Seas” including Baltic, Black Sea and Adriatic/Aegean. That means Baltic States, Poland, Hungry, Slovakia, Check Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, representing potentially solid barrier against aggressive forces and neighbors in the vicinity and also strong economic potential in direction North-South in addition to the traditional East to West trade and links.
It will be much better for the country and for the current Government of Bulgaria which itself is in an internal power struggle with a more and more manifestly pro-Russian President, to seek, insist and provide strong unequivocally clear positions on the issues concerning the safety and security of the South-Eastern flank of Europe and of the Western alliance. This way the interests of Bulgaria will be served the best.
History teaches us that trying to mollify dictators always leads either to enslavement or to defeat. We see right before our eyes how Putin is creating a new Constitution in Russia which will defy the Rule of Law in international affairs and will defy the rulings of the international Courts.
We see that he is investing billions in hybrid wars against the rest of the World, against the West and US including Bulgaria. He is realizing that Russia is economic midget and inevitably military loser and he is leader of corrupt pseudo-capitalist backward country owned by oligarchs. Being and ex-KGB officer he is capable mostly of spreading lies or instilling fear-the main instruments of the former Soviet power.
We see that he is not ashamed of killing his political rival Boris Nemtzov five years ago in front of the whole world and now rewarding a Chechen relative of the killer with a medal. He also gave medal to comrade Malinov, accused as a Russian spy by the Bulgarian authorities clearly defying the national dignity and openly supporting subversive actions against the Bulgarian State. He also nonchalantly sent GRU agents across Europe including Bulgaria with the assignments to poison with “Novichok”or Polonium or to “suicide” people he dislikes, just to name a few of his exploits.
Erdogan and Putin are no friends of Bulgaria or Europe or even less of the US and EU.This needs to be clearly understood by the Bulgarian populace and elucidated for the political class. They are all too often being misled by weak or paid by Moscow biased media, by “experts” serving their old “masters” or unfortunately by ill-informed “progressive” western outlets.
There is no time for hesitation and vacillation in the times of turmoil.