Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 59

Warm relations between Russia and Bulgaria may have cooled a bit in the wake of the Russian Duma’s March 15 resolution denouncing disbandment of the USSR and following two visits to Sofia by high-ranking Western leaders. Yesterday, following talks with NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, Bulgarian president Zhelyu Zhelev described the Duma action as a threat to Russian democracy, to the peoples of the former Soviet Union, and also to Central and Eastern Europe. He suggested that it would compel Bulgaria to intensify its own efforts to win NATO membership. Zhelev’s remarks came as a delegation of Russian parliamentarians departed Moscow for a three-day visit to Sofia. The Bulgarian president will not meet with the delegation, although it is not clear whether that decision is related to the Duma vote. (Russian Public TV, "Vremya," & Itar-Tass, March 25)

All recent indications suggested that Moscow and Sofia were drawing closer. Following talks in Moscow late last month with his Bulgarian counterpart, Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov described relations as "advanced" and a press release noted that the two had signed more than 50 agreements since 1991. (See Monitor, February 27) During a March 15 visit to Moscow by Bulgarian prime minister Zhan Videnov, six economic cooperation agreements were signed, and the two men appeared to express a common opposition to NATO enlargement. However, Zhelev said less than a week later, during a visit to Sofia by German president Roman Herzog, that Bulgaria would apply for NATO membership.

Ukrainian President, Parliament Dispute Control of National Guard.