While all attention is focused on the success of populists in the Western countries of the EU, one electoral campaign went unheeded. And it could allow Russia to increase its influence in the Union. Reaffirming its commitment to the EU, the two largest Bulgarian party promise to restore economic ties with Russia. And it is popular with the voters who feel abandoned a decade after the accession of Bulgaria to the Union. About it today, writes Bloomberg reports ZN.ua.
The socialists and the party of “coat of Arms” before the vote, which will take place on Sunday, went further and promised to sink the EU sanctions against Russia, which were introduced for Russian aggression against Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Pro-Russian socialist has occupied the post of President of Bulgaria. Accused of meddling in U.S. elections and the campaign in France, Russia still enjoys the favor of the Bulgarians, whose country during the Cold war was called “the 16th Republic of the USSR”. Now Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the poorest member of the EU. She suffers from high level of corruption and labor immigration.
“Pro-Russian rhetoric is common among circles of voters who are disappointed social model”, – said the Chairman of Transparency International Bulgaria Ognyan Minchev.
“They are easy to convince that the alleged of the EU and NATO have given nothing to the development of Bulgaria and to make believe in the Eurasian alternative,” he added.
The newspaper reminds that on March, 26th will take place the elections, who was appointed after Prime Minister Boyko Borisov resigned. The reason for this decision was the defeat of the candidate of his party “coat of Arms” on elections of the President of Bulgaria. Now the party “GERB” support for 31.7% of voters, while its main rival, the Socialist party, which became the legal successor of the Bulgarian Communist party is ready to support 29,1% of the Bulgarians. Both parties try to play on the discontent that the EU has not brought prosperity to Bulgaria. Though neighboring Romania joined the Union in 2007 and showed greater growth. In Transparency International indicate that in fact corruption has become a cause for the slow development of Bulgaria.
But the party of “Yes, Bulgaria”, which stands for the fight against bribery, most likely, will not overcome the 4% threshold for representation in Parliament. “Coat of arms” and the socialists insist that the restoration of Russian energy projects in Bulgaria will benefit the economy. In particular, they want to revive the “South stream”, which will supply Russian gas bypassing Ukraine. The socialist party also said that EU sanctions against Russia harm the Bulgarian industry and construction.
The radicals of the “United patriots”, who is likely to become a coalition partner of the party-the winner, also share this belief. “We have a very solid commitments in respect of sanctions imposed on Russian companies and people who are involved in the annexation of Crimea. But we support pragmatic and mutually beneficial relations with Russia”, – said Boyko Borisov live on Bulgarian television.
Earlier edition of The Wall Street Journal, citing its sources reported that Russia helped defeat representative of the Pro-Russian Socialist party Romano Radio in the presidential elections in Bulgaria.