“Relations between Bulgaria and Russia are at their lowest level for the entire post-socialist period,” Russian Ambassador in Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova said in an interview with the TASS Russian News Agency which was published on Tuesday.
“Official contacts are incidental, Bulgarian colleagues call when they need something, and our people most often ignore them. Views are not exchanged even on current issues on the international agenda. A large number of politicians and media are trying to implicate Russia in everything negative that happens in Bulgaria, blaming a ‘strong Russian influence’ for problems as they arise and looking for a ‘Russian connection’ in criminal cases. All these, however, are inventions, an aspiration to foist an extremely negative image of Russia on Bulgarian citizens. I think that this has not yet been achieved, sociological surveys show that 65% of citizens treat our country favourably. The strongest vaccine against the negative attitude is our common history: it still acts, but time will show whether it will continue to act when generations change,” Mitrofanova said.
Apart from political issues, Mitrofanova also discussed matters related to the economy.
In connection with the operation of the Lukoil company, the diplomat said she could see politicians eager to drive Russia out of the spheres of mutual interest. “Lukoil’s future operation in the country is a case in point,” the interviewee specified.
Mitrofanova does not think that at this point there are prospects for a resumption of the full-scale tourist exchange between Russia and Bulgaria.
“We realize that Bulgaria is a EU and NATO member and will adhere to the position of these political blocs. Globally, the development of the geopolitical situation will prove decisive,” the Ambassador concluded.
“Bulgarian politicians are following the West’s lead in their attempts to rewrite history and cancel everything connected with Russia,” the Ambassador argued in her interview.
“The attempt to amend the Constitution – to move the national holiday to another day – is connected with today’s conjuncture and efforts to cancel Russia and everything connected with it. Bulgaria is now trying to follow the current prevailing trend in the West. I believe that what is happening is a fleeting craze, an attempt to reformat Bulgarian society, to force it to forget its history and at the same time to distract it from discussing pressing issues and problems of building the future,” she said. She was referring to a proposal to change the date of Bulgaria’s national day from March 3, which marks the Day of Liberation from Ottoman rule as a result of the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War.
In the TASS interview, Mitrofanova also commented on the plans of the ruling majority in Bulgaria to dismantle the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia.
“As to the political dimension of this issue, this is an act of rewriting history. An aspiration to purge history of everything related to Russia and the Soviet Union, as well as to inflict a serious trauma on our soul,” she pointed out.