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Title of the article: Russia’s geopolitical interests in the Balkans in the XX – early XXI century
Author(s): Vorobyev A. A.
Section: Theory and history of culture
Year: 2016
Issue: № 3 (41)
Pages: 65-76
Index UDK: 327 (47+57) «19/20»
Index BBK: 66.4 (2Рос)
Abstract: The relevance of the article is determined by special relations which have been established between Russia, on the one hand, and the countries of the Balkan Peninsula, on the other, since ancient times. And if the people of most Balkan countries, especially Bulgaria and Serbia, have never forgotten to whom they owe their sovereignty, the attitude of the ruling classes of these countries has changed several times during the XX – beginning of XXI centuries. Reference point of different approach of Balkan countries to the geopolitical interests of Russia in this region was the Balkan wars of 1912–1913. These wars did not only lead to a split between the Balkan countries themselves, but also to the aggravation of relations with Russia, their only reliable and natural ally. Only Serbia and Montenegro took the pro-Russian position, which was shared by the common people and the political elites of these countries at the beginning of the twentieth century. Bulgaria, Romania and Greece, despite the common Orthodox faith, took the anti-Russian position, which, in our opinion, was due to the fact that the monarchs of these countries were the representatives of the German monarchical dynasties and naturally gravitated toward their fellow believers and relatives in Germany and Austria-Hungary. This is reflected by the fact that during the First and Second World Wars, Serbia and Yugoslavia were the allies of Russia and the Soviet Union, and Bulgaria in the two world wars was the ally of longtime enemies of the Slavs such as Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey. At the end of XX – beginning of XXI centuries Russia, being under the control of pseudo-democrats, led by Boris Yeltsin, lost its geopolitical influence in the Balkans. The current Russian leadership under Vladimir Putin has managed to stop the geopolitical retreat and in the future has a good chance to restore its geopolitical position in the Balkans, relying on Serbia and trying to change the pro-Western leadership orientation of Bulgaria, as Bulgarian people, unlike their leaders, always stood for close ties with the brotherly Russia.
Keywords: Russia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, foreign policy, geopolitical interests, the United States of America, NATO, the Balkan Peninsula.
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