• Bechev in EUROPP: Election reaction: The Status Quo Wins in Bulgaria

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  • Will Bulgaria Tilt Toward Russia?

    Bulgaria’s orientation toward Russia, and the renewed awareness of this shift, has become a major political issue in its presidential elections. While neither of the leading candidates has directly disputed Bulgaria’s membership in NATO and the European Union (EU), they have both argued that the EU should lift the sanctions imposed on Russia for annexing Crimea in March of 2014.

    Tsetska Tsacheva, the candidate from Bulgaria’s ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party, is likely to move away from this firm pro-Russian course just to set herself apart from her Socialist Party opponent, Gen. Rumen Radev, ahead of the November 13 runoff election.

    The takeaway, however, is clear: Bulgaria is reconsidering its allegiance to the West and is trying to execute a precarious balancing act.

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  • Romania and Bulgaria to Host Greater NATO Presence in the Black Sea Region

    NATO member state officials meeting in Brussels agreed to boost the alliance’s military presence along its entire eastern flank from Bulgaria to the Baltics.
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  • Memo to NATO: Wake Up Before Putin Turns the Black Sea into a Russian Lake

    By invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin has transformed the security situation in the Black Sea.

    Upon capturing those territories, Moscow lost no time in seizing Ukrainian energy facilities in the Black Sea and accelerating its ongoing military modernization there. As a result, Moscow has built a combined arms force of land, sea, air, and electronic forces that NATO leaders admit is fully capable of denying access to NATO forces seeking to enter the Black Sea during a conflict. It has also deployed nuclear-capable weapons to the Black Sea area and is apparently building a similar network of anti-access area denial (A2/AD) capabilities against NATO in both the eastern Mediterranean around Syria and in the Caucasus.

    Thus, as Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has noted, Russia is well on its way to converting the Black Sea into a Russian lake, an outcome that endangers the security of all the states along the sea’s edges....

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  • Romania Wants Permanent NATO Black Sea Force

    From Transitions Online: At NATO's July summit, Bucharest will propose that a regular multinational naval force patrol the area.
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  • Russia Could Block Access to Baltic Sea, US General Says

    From Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One:  Russia has moved ballistic missiles to and conducted nuclear strike drills from its Kaliningrad exclave, prompting Pentagon fears that Moscow could block access to the Baltic Sea.
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  • Nine Heads of State Call on Alliance to 'Strengthen the Eastern Flank of NATO'

    "We, the Presidents of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Republic of Estonia, Hungary, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic and the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.
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  • NATO Chief Concerned by Reported Russian Military Build-Up in Syria

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday voiced concern over reports of a Russian military build-up in Syria, warning that any support for Bashar Assad would escalate the bloody conflict.
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  • NATO Activates Staff Units in Six Eastern Members

    Today, we raise the NATO flag over six new headquarters. The NATO Force Integration Units. Here in Vilnius. But also in Bucharest, Bydgoszcz, Sofia, Riga, and Tallinn.
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  • The Case for NATO's Military Presence in Central and Eastern Europe

    Calls for a permanent NATO presence will not die down any time soon, given the persistence of Poland and the Baltic States both before and after the Wales summit.
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