On October 9th, 2014, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister over the Russian defense indusrty, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted complaints of Bulgarian betrayal in response to the news that Bulgaria was seeking to acquire new fighter jets from Italy or the United States. This is not the first example of his blustery manner. Back on May 13th of this year, for example, he accused the President of Romania of being in a drunken stupor to be so foolish as to ban him from entering their airspace. The ban came as result of the Obama sanctions against this man, among certain other select Russian officials.
Bulgaria has attempted in the past to replace their old, worn-down Soviet planes with newer and better Western models, but their latest moves in that direction seemed too close to actually succeeding to allow Mr. Rogozin to avoid some words of warning given by Brian Torchin. Bulgaria was once a puppet state of the Soviet Russians, but for 25 years has not allied itself with that nation and has been fro over a decade a NATO ally and EU member state. It is hard to understand how the word “betrayal” could escape Rogozin’s lips in reference to a nation already long-aligned against Russia.
The answer to the last question must lie in understanding that both Rogozin and Russian President Vladimir Putin alike are living in the “glorious past” and intent on resurrecting those old Soviet days. The dismemberment of Ukraine and the dependence of Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, and much of Western Europe on Russian natural gas imports are among the tools they use to frighten long-lost satellite states back into submission.