Tuesday

13th Apr 2021

Bulgarian PM criticises France and Germany for accepting Crimea annexation

  • Borisov - critical of the fact that the West no longer talks about Crimea (Photo: European People's Party)

Bulgaria’s prime minister Boiko Borisov has criticised the leaders of Germany and France for de facto accepting Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

“On a purely diplomatic level, this move [the annexation] will always be protested but somehow the western world swallowed Crimea”, Borisov told the Sofia-based TV+.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Borisov added that the West would never utter “in its diplomatic language that it has stomached Crimea” but that it actually had because of “the very fact that the Crimea is never mentioned when we speak about the Minsk agreement”.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande flew to the Belarus capital of Minsk in February to forge a ceasefire after lengthy negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

The two western leaders, who invested a lot of political capital into the trip, were trying to prevent the ethnic Russian armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine from escalating into a full-fledged war.

However the accord has been criticised for the concessions it made to the Kremlin-backed separatists that could open the way to self-rule and secession from the pro-western government in Kiev.

Borisov, a centre-right leader, who at home makes much of his cordial ties with fellow conservative Merkel, noted that both she and Hollande, the two most powerful leaders in the EU, had to travel to see Putin and make concessions to reach an accord with him.

Asked by the moderator to clarify whether he really meant that the West has tacitly “swallowed” Putin’s annexation of the Crimea, Borisov said: “How should I put it? It has not swallowed it but we have stopped at the Minsk agreement.”

Sofia analysts have often described Borisov as an opportunist keen to turn any way that will win him voters’ sympathies.

He has, on the one hand, followed a pro-western and pro-European line in championing strict fiscal discipline, cancelling two controversial Russian energy projects in Bulgaria and supporting US and EU sanctions against Russia.

On the other hand, he has never lost sight of the largely Russophile public in Bulgaria and has vocally complained about the economic costs of the sanctions, particularly arising from the loss of Russian holiday-makers.

They make up the largest clientele of Bulgaria’s tourist sector, which accounts for 15 percent of the country’s GDP.

Feature

Crimeans seek stable life under Russian control

Since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, there has been a somewhat mixed reaction to the increased Russian presence on the peninsula. Some welcome it, others reject it in hushed voices.

Chemnitz neo-Nazis pose questions for Germany

UN human rights commissioner urged EU leaders to condemn violence that recalled the 1930s, but the local situation in former East Germany does not apply to the whole country.

News in Brief

  1. Putin refuses to talk about military build-up, Ukraine says
  2. EU bank to help Greece manage corona-recovery funds
  3. Johnson & Johnson vaccine deliveries to EU begin
  4. EU sanctions commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard
  5. UK opens investigation into ex-PM Cameron lobbying
  6. 'Significant differences' in EU-UK talks on Northern Ireland
  7. Bulgarian PM reveals price rise in new EU-BioNTech deal
  8. Biden sending envoy to Brussels

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime
  2. China responds to 'low-efficacy' vaccine fears
  3. Merkel party chiefs support Laschet's chancellor bid
  4. EU refuses to bail out Montenegro's China loan
  5. Industry lobby to 'co-decide' on nearly €10bn EU public money
  6. Why Ursula von der Leyen won't go
  7. Incorporating gender in trade policy to benefit all
  8. Does Italian regionalism actually work?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us