Year of Russia in Bulgaria or Putin go home!

“Putin go home!” Sofia met the president of Russia with such posters.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Bulgaria on a two-day visit. Sophia met Putin controversially. On the one hand, a gala concert was held in his honor, broadcast live and marked the beginning of the Year of Russia in Bulgaria. On the other hand, participants in three civilian protests took to the street with placards “Putin, go home!”.

A turn in the Bulgarian orientation is how the visit of the Russian president is perceived in Sofia. Putin’s plane was already landing on a strip drowned in Sofia’s fog when one of the most popular broadcasts in Bulgaria broadcast a song in the language that was forgotten here:

“New turn,
And the motor roars.
What does he bring to us? ”

Three different protests accompanied the first day of the Russian president’s visit to Sofia. They were organized by environmentalists condemning the Bulgarian-Russian energy projects, non-governmental organizations protesting against excessive friendship with the state, where human rights are violated, as well as the right-wing opposition, which for the third year has warned that Bulgaria becomes completely dependent on Russia under socialists.

At one of the rallies in the center of Sofia, about two thousand people gathered, who came with portraits of Anna Politkovskaya or with the placards “Putin, return home, and take our president with you!”

“We no longer want to experiment on ourselves according to the Moscow model. We do not need service-controlled democracy. We do not want to see either oligarchs or the mafia in power. We want to remain Europeans. Putin out! ”Says former Prime Minister Ivan Kostov.

An hour later, the central television station broadcast live the gala concert that opened the Year of Russia in Bulgaria. Thus marks the 130th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from Turkish rule with the help of Russia.

At least two strategic contracts between Sofia and Moscow are expected to be signed on Friday – for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Danube city of Belene and for the establishment of a project company for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.

This post is also available in: English Русский (Russian)

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