Bulgaria Breaks Russia-Friendly Stance in Spat Over War Exhibit

(Bloomberg) -- Bulgaria criticized Russia for its interpretation of World War II events, breaking tradition, and warned its long-time ally against meddling in its internal affairs with what it called "dubious" historical claims.

The government in Sofia took exception to the Russian embassy's plans to mark the end of the war as "the 75th anniversary of the liberation of eastern Europe from Nazism." The tone of the objection is unusual for a country that was once considered one of the closest allies of the Soviet Union and continues to have cordial relations with Russia.

The postwar presence of the Red Army in the region brought on "half a century of repression, the muffling of civil spirit, deformed economic development and detachment from developed European countries," Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

While Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the European Union, it also has close ties with Russia, its main energy supplier and traditional partner.

"The long-term consequences for Bulgaria are the same as for the other eastern European countries in the Soviet sphere of influence -- 45 years of totalitarian regime," the Foreign Ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Slav Okov in Sofia at sokov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Irina Vilcu at isavu@bloomberg.net, Andrea Dudik, Balazs Penz

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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