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Bulgaria: More messages on missiles

Author: Clive Leviev-Sawyer Date: Wed, Feb 17 2010 18 Comments, 3256 Views
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Senior government officials in Sofia and Washington are continuing to underline that there are no negotiations between Bulgaria and the United States on participation in the US missile shield in Eastern Europe.
 
"We have not entered into any concrete talks with the US about whether there would be (part of the system) on our territory," Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov said on February 17 2010.
 
Media reports on February 12, based on remarks by US ambassador in Sofia James Warlick, said that Bulgaria could join Romania and other Eastern European countries in the new-style missile shield system being planned by US president Barack Obama’s administration.
 
The White House’s new plan is a reconceptualisation that replaces a Bush-era plan for a missile shield, which irked the Kremlin which saw it as directed against Russia.
 
Mladenov, who was Bulgaria’s Defence Minister before becoming Foreign Minister, said that there were discussions in Nato about how a shared missile defence system for all countries in the military alliance would look conceptually.
 
After reports of Warlick’s remarks, media quoted foreign minister Sergei Lavrov of speaking of a "Bulgarian surprise".
 
"We have already asked our American partners how we should understand this and why a Bulgarian surprise followed the Romanian surprise," Lavrov said on February 14. Earlier, Bucharest announced officially that it would take part in the missile shield.
 
EurActiv quoted unnamed Bulgarian diplomats as saying that to their knowledge, no decision to host the missile shield had yet been taken.
 
"The Americans have the habit of discussing issues first with the Bulgarian military, who usually agree on every suggestion. Then the US diplomats press the Bulgarian government authorities, saying: Your military commanders told us it is feasible," one diplomat, who asked not to be named, was quoted by EurActiv as saying.
 
"And then we have very little room for manoeuvre," he complained.
 
Mladenov said on February 17 that Russia’s response had been misinterpreted in Bulgaria.
 
"The fact is that there is dialogue between Nato and Russia to protect against potential new threats. Already there are countries that have access to medium-range missiles. These technologies can easily reach terrorist organisations," Mladenov said.
 
Washington has insisted, in a message echoed by Bulgarian former foreign minister Solomon Passi, that the missile shield is intended to protect against threats from the Middle East, and is in no way directed against Russia.
 
In an interview with Bulgarian-language mass-circulation daily Trud, published on February 17, Deputy Foreign Minister Marin Raikov said that there had been no, and there should be no, official diplomatic reaction from Moscow after the reports that Bulgaria might participate in the missile shield.
 
Raikov said that Bulgaria took sovereign decisions and owed no explanations in choosing the means by which it guaranteed its national security.
 
"Our decisions in this area are taken in the context of the analysis that we make jointly with our Nato allies," Raikov was quoted as telling Trud.
 
Speaking to Bulgarian National Television on February 16, Warlick said that while there had been discussions in the context of Nato, there was no negotiations process.

Bulgarian daily Standart, quoting Russian news agencies Interfax and Itar-Tass, reported US deputy secretary of state for arms control and international security Ellen Tauscher as saying that Washington had not request Bulgaria's Government to allow the deployment of elements of the US missile defence shield system on Bulgarian territory.

"The possibility Bulgaria to join the anti-missile defence system in the future remains open," Tauscher was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Russian news agency RIA Novosti said on February 16 that members of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee and the US house of representatives committee on foreign affairs would discuss reports of plans to host missiles in Bulgaria and Romania.
 
Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the Russian parliamentary committee, said in an interview with the Rossia24 TV channel that the issue had come up unexpectedly for Russia.
 
"This refers not only to Romania but probably also to Bulgaria and some other countries in the south of Europe," Kosachyov said, adding that the "most deplorable part" was that such plans did not fit into Obama’s stated intention to "reset" Russian-US relations.
 
 

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    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #18 22, 53, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      Didn't see that:

      "Is it a matter of choosing sides? I'm not sure but if this is what your saying then it seems to me that the choice is clear."

      Like what? Are we with you, or against you? What kind of simplistic jargon is this? More appropriate coming from that simpleton Bush... Russia isn't going anywhere - that's the reality, not the momentary needs to which the US responds so readily as to resemble a child playing soccer, focused ONLY at the ball ahead.... arming the Afghani Islamists throughout the 80s... [...]

      Read the full comment will you ever learn?

      All those "choices" you presume we have to make - we will have to live with, not you. How careless and irresponsible...

      Come on Epami, be a man;) Jump in...

    • Anonymous
      Epaminondas Rating:
      neutral
      #17 22, 12, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      Oh dear - this is not a debate for the uninitiated ! I'm staying right out of it....

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #16 20, 23, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      PS

      "I'm just concerned that smaller, newer, EU countries as yourself and Romania are allowing Russia to dictate your foreign policy."

      We appreciate the concern, I am sure, but allowing Washington to place those missiles would be much closer to the suggested dynamic. Russia isn't the one initiating the controversy at hand...

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #15 20, 13, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      No, "it seems" that I am saying that contracts don't "change direction" and NATO is a contract.
      If it's OK for NATO to "adopt" then it surely should be OK for their members to adopt their relationship with NATO to the "changing times".

      Besides, lumping RO and BG in the same bucket when it comes to Russia is very typical American disregard for local conditions, that so often gets you in trouble.
      Our historic dealings and connection with Russia, couldn't be more different.

      I don't know what would [...]

      Read the full comment it take for the Americans to understand one thing - we are NOT sovereign! We are part of the EU, as we wanted and very much still want to be, so this is not about sovereignty, or being under someone's finger - this is about laws and rules and about Brussels' weakness when it comes to dealing with the US.


    • Anonymous
      411 Rating:
      neutral
      #14 19, 27, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      So, it seems that your saying that your still under the finger of Russia and are not willing to live up to your NATO or EU obligations? Is that your point? I'm just asking because Bulgaria is a sovernent country, why would it care what Russia thinks? First I believe that the EU was formed to complete with the US in global economics. Country's within the Euro Zone have a much better position in dealing with the US. Bulgaria will be in this Euro Zone within the next couple of years as I've heard.
      Yes, I did go [...]

      Read the full comment off topic as did your last posts and this is what I was responding too. Russia doesn't want these shields, they have made that clear since W. was the President. It has caused problems betweeen our country's over the past 4 yrs or so, I'm just concerned that smaller, newer, EU countries as yourself and Romania are allowing Russia to dictate your foreign policy. Is it a matter of choosing sides? I'm not sure but if this is what your saying then it seems to me that the choice is clear.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #13 19, 12, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      "Stop crying about people insulting Bulgaria, it's not about insulting Bugaria, so stop crying about this all the time, you keep defending BG as if it was squeaky clean, it is not, be honest."

      I am not "crying", just noting a fact which illustrates your lack of substantive arguments with the issue at hand.

      BG is far from "squeaky clean", which has nothing to do with placing missiles in BG. Where do you see the connection?

      I know very well what BGs problems are and I know what [...]

      Read the full comment US's are. Corruption in the US so so huge and is so structural that it truly makes our corrupt politicians look like a bunch of amateurs.

      What does that have to do with Mr. Warlick making stupid statements, and/or Washington putting BG at a very uncomfortable place, as we are negotiating Belene with the Russians?

    • Anonymous
      411 Rating:
      neutral
      #12 19, 00, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      It's natural for any organization to change it's direction and/or purpose as the situation changes. NATO is working with idea's that go back 50yrs. You don't think it's normal to update and adapt to the changing times? Stop crying about people insulting Bulgaria, it's not about insulting Bugaria, so stop crying about this all the time, you keep defending BG as if it was sqeaky clean, it is not, be honest. I understand your wanting to defend the honor of your country but also wake up and see the huge problems in your country. It's not as if Bulgaria is [...]

      Read the full comment the only country with problems. The US, UK, Germany and many more. It's obvious that you demonize the US, that's fine, I'm not going to sit here and try to defend what my govt does or doesn't do, I don't agree with a lot of things they do or say. But you are not being honest with yourself, Bulgaria has major problems within it's Govt. Starting with the former bodyguard,policeman or fireman Boyko. DO you really think that all of the things that are going on now are a result of a true cleanzing of corupption? To think this is the case is just naive. The Bulgaria people deserve much better then what they are getting yet they seem to except what they are handed regardless of the outcome for the regular Bulgarian. I don't see it improving anytime soon. I wish it would because I do love living in this country and the people are wonderful. It's just something that won' or can't be changed over night. It will take generations. I hear things from ordiary Bulgarians that sometimes shock the hell out of me but yet they push on.So Mr. Valeri, I admire your loyality to your country but I think your in denial about somethings, that's all, hey nobody is perfect, it's just Bulgarian corruption is so open, at least in the states, the UK and several other countries then disgise it under the form of law somehow and make it sound patraotic. In Bulgaria, it just all seems wrong and the people are the one's to suffer. THis is the only poin I'm trying to make.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #11 18, 27, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      411,
      well, except for attacking and attempting to insult BG for what "this Valeri" says, you haven't addressed any of my points - typical, right?

      Lets examine your rants though, and I will try to paraphrase you for the benefit of the readers:

      You say that we "Bulgrarianize" every issue, and that we wanted to be part of something until that something asks us to do something.
      Then you say that "If Bulgaria wasn't stratigically located near the Black Sea and not far from the middle east, do [...]

      Read the full comment you really think they would have even been asked to take part in NATO, EU, any of this.."

      I agree. It's absolutely natural for BG to want to "Bulgarinaze" every issue, as it is very natural for the US to Americanize and NATO to NATO-inaze it. You said yourself that we are part of all this, ONLY because of something those entities wanted and needed - location - meaning their interests.
      It sounds like they were looking after their own interests, and that's OK, except now that BG is looking after hers, it isn't. BG joined a Defense alliance, not an aggressive Entente. Joining an organization is not like being adopted. It's an agreement - a deal. The moment you violate/change your side of the agreement, everything is up for negotiation because we are not dealing with the same contract anymore - business 101, 411.

      My contention is that the US is changing everything NATO was supposed to be about, and it's every member's right to examine it closely.

      So is there anyone who can offer something coherent to disabuse me of that notion, or would you prefer to just stay with insulting the country?

    • Anonymous
      411 Rating:
      neutral
      #10 16, 31, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      Typical, Bulgaria want's, actually beg's to be a part of something and then when it's time to step up to the plate they what to change the rule's to their favor. This Valeri seems to be there apologist and defender. Don't let the Americans come here and militerize Bulgaria, what is that about? Bulgaria has a military but yet he say's we need NATO in the Balkans, God forbid now that Bulgaria has to do something itself, you can't have it both way's, either your a part of someting or your not. Why Bulgarianize every issue that comes up, this [...]

      Read the full comment manipulation of the Bulgarians in the room is very good mind you, they are pro's at it and then they get what they want and suck you dry. If Bulgaria wasn't stratigically located near the Black Sea and not far from the middle east, do you really think they would have even been asked to take part in NATO, EU, any of this, is the sad reality of the situation. Not they feel offended they are in some puppet role. What do you expect? Give me a break, the EU don't trust anyone in your Govt, your PM is arresting people to make room for his own cronies. it's just a disfuntional country. It's a mentality of what about me and to hell with anyone else, everyone has there own agenda.
      This story could go on and on and I'm sure people will do their best to justify all of it but it is what it is.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #9 04, 19, Fri, Feb 19 2010

      "NATO was never established as a solely European entity."

      True. Also true NATO was established as a defense alliance against the USSR - how relevant does that make them? I'd say somewhere between the Warsaw Pact or the New Deal on the proverbial scale of relevance..'

      Because of that, NATO is attempting to re-invent its mission from defense to security alliance, and then asking the question of why are large entities with diverging interests, in the same security alliance given the absence of clear enemy of size, is very appropriate.
      [...]

      Read the full comment
      Of course Russia is, and will do exactly the same thing as the US - that is not the question. The question is what is Bulgaria doing in the middle of it? BG has a very long, and wise tradition of not joining military aggression against Russia. The US arming and pushing countries like Georgia, placing missiles and involving BG under the umbrella of NATO is essentially getting us involved in aggression against Russia.

      NATO means that every one is at war, with the country that would attack a member state.. W. Bush perverted that concept, because the US was attacked by a private entity, on 9.11., not a clear country, so even getting NATO involved in places like Afghanistan, represents serious grounds for revision of the alliance. The casual contempt for the rules of triggering the alliance, coming out of Washington, is very disturbing. What if Turkey declares herself at war with the Kurds?

      Are Bulgarian troops obliged to go fight there? So what if they are not "foreign" - they are terrorists - check out the international (CIA) lists. They attack Turkey occasionally. What's the difference?

      This is becoming less of an "alliance" and more of "auxiliary pool" for the US. Even that we can deal with, if it doesn't pit us against Russia. The Romanians have a tradition of joining western forces in aggression against Russia - not BG. It goes against everything we stand for we owe our very existence, as a country, to Russia - do not underestimate this, as corny as it may sound - it's much more than empty sentimentality. Hitler had to get that, so would the US.

      Every global alliance BG has ever joined, had been locally motivated - by issues with our neighbors, not ideologies or the future way of lives of the world's big players. This is NATO business is no different.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #8 23, 22, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      Quite frankly, the EU needs NATO and other 'non-European' i.e. American military cooperation. NATO was never established as a solely European entity.

      For the time being, until some genius discovers a way to run the world on another type of fuel, oil is what makes the world go around. Do you really think that the U.S. is the only country who is motivated by the pursuit and acquisition of oil? Get real. The Russians do it as do the Chinese. Every time the Russians get offended, they cut off the oil supply. Russia is not exactly [...]

      Read the full comment defenseless. They are also doing what they can to influence (pressuring, really) individual EU members to get what they want as well.

      These are defensive missiles, and barely work under the best of conditions.

      The Russians are also adept at issuing veiled threats at Europe to get their way.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #7 18, 24, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      Robert,
      that was not a very intelligent post.
      All that just is just a reflection of the weakness of the EU, not BG joining NATO.

      NATO is very important for the Balkans - you'll see - Serbia is the next member, even-though NATO bombed them just yesterday.
      Something like NATO is very necessary for peace between folks with outstanding issues - like all of us in the Balkans.
      The problem is European reluctance to take defense matters in their own hands and reliance on the US.
      [...]

      Read the full comment US plays their game, pits one EU country against another, uses our militaries as Trojan Horses into our governments - not always in European interests. The other problem is the patch work of members and non members.
      All of Europe needs to be in the same Union, as well as the same Security Force.
      Some countries are members of the EU others not. Some are members of NATO others not - perfect set up for the Americans to have it their way. The problem here is America, not a common security organization that we all participate in.

      Venom and emotions like yours are simply useless.

      NATO needs to be eased out, and replaced with a EU Security Force, that excludes non European entities like the Americans. We need a NATO like organization to protect the EU, not help the US achieve their oil geo-political aims.

    • Anonymous
      100010010 Rating:
      neutral
      #6 10, 10, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      This could be the stupidest move yet done by the Bulgarian government.

    • Anonymous
      Raptor Rating:
      neutral
      #5 08, 53, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      These missiles have nothing to with Iran or Russia. They are simply defence mechanisms against possible extraterrestrial powers.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #4 03, 08, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      There is an Irish story about a peasant and his pig. The pig was in
      his pick up truck and thought that
      it was being taken by his master to a wedding. In fact the peasant was taking the pig to a slaughter
      house.

      By joining the NATO and the EU the
      Bulgarians were thinking that they were being invited to a big time dinner party. Now they are realizing that it is not a dinner party they are being invited to but to a slaughter house.
      [...]

      Read the full comment />
      And then, the cat is out of the bag. The Bulgarians tried to avoid
      the knife. They referred the matter to EU, but the EU stuffed its ears with cotton, heard nothing, and left the Bulgarians
      with open mouth.

      The stupidity displayed by Sofia is the claim that the missiles to be installed in Bulgaria are not
      intended to be used against Russia,
      but against Iran. There is an other wisdom the Bulgarians know well= It is in Turkish: Nerde shat nerde Baghdad. Or the truth is as far from the earth as is the Planet of Mars.

      Now they are dancing in Sofia and
      do not know to which God they should pray: The God of Passi or the Bulgarian God Tangra.

      One thing is sure: The trial baloon will soon burst.

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #3 01, 16, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      Iran or Russia are not threatening the security of Bulgaria.
      The real threat comes from those who seek to militarize us.

      Where is the EU in all that? Are we part of them, or are they just a bank poorer countries go to when deficits get out of control?

    • Anonymous
      Valeri Rating:
      neutral
      #2 01, 11, Thu, Feb 18 2010

      ""The Americans have the habit of discussing issues first with the Bulgarian military, who usually agree on every suggestion. Then the US diplomats press the Bulgarian government authorities, saying: Your military commanders told us it is feasible," one diplomat, who asked not to be named, was quoted by EurActiv as saying.

      "And then we have very little room for manoeuvre," he complained."

      Very nasty practice. Our military de facto works for Washington. Great way to support Democracy our American friends! Get your way through the military first!


      [...]

      Read the full comment /> "Raikov said that Bulgaria took sovereign decisions and owed no explanations in choosing the means by which it guaranteed its national security.
      "Our decisions in this area are taken in the context of the analysis that we make jointly with our Nato allies," Raikov was quoted as telling Trud.

      That is a contradiction in terms right there.
      On one hand "don't tell us what to do - we are sovereign" on the other "NATO tells us what to do any way". Which is it? are we sovereign or do we let Washington and our military tell us what to do?


      The Russians are right! It is against them... Stupid move on BG side, if we allow ourselves to be tools in the hands of the Americans.

    • Profile preview
      Десен Rating: 1370
      neutral
      #1 22, 19, Wed, Feb 17 2010

      I don't like your comment.
      It is an understatement of one critical point that he just said over the news today:
      "Any talks for AMF will be held noting the Russian interest."
      What Russian interest?
      Russia exports nuclear arms into Iran and Bulgaria will be mindful of Russian interests?
      This is a joke! Absolute shame and ridiculous joke with Bulgarian and NATO security interests on the Balkans.

      Не цъфтиш ли като цвете, гниеш като бурен.

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