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Foreign relations of the Republic of Bulgaria are the Bulgarian government's external relations with the outside world. Bulgaria has generally good foreign relations with its neighbors and has proved to be a constructive force in the region[citation needed] under socialist and democratic governments alike. Promoting regional stability, Bulgaria hosted a Southeast European Foreign Ministers meeting in July 1996, and an OSCE conference on Black Sea cooperation in November 1995. Bulgaria also participated in the 1996 South Balkan Defense Ministerial in Albania and is active in the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. Bulgaria's main focus is the Euro-Atlantic integration since 1997 and the efforts of the governments since then led to admission to NATO in 2004 and the European Union in 2007. Its main allies are Greece and Romania, while it maintains good relations with Serbia and the rest of the Balkans. Republic of Macedonia is very important state in Bulgarian foreign and internal policy due to the historical, ethnical and cultural connections.

OverviewEdit

After the end of Communist control of Eastern Europe in 1989, Bulgaria sought economic cooperative arrangements with Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, and Spain, as well as military cooperation with Romania, Greece, and Turkey. A start was made on easing tensions with its traditional enemy, Serbia.[1]

With their close historical, cultural, and economic ties, Bulgaria seeks a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, on which it is largely dependent for energy supplies. Sporadic negotiations are underway among Greece, Bulgaria, and Russia for construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline to transport Caspian Sea oil from the Black Sea port of Burgas to Alexandroupoli on the northern Aegean coast.

Bulgaria's EU Association Agreement came into effect in 1994, and Bulgaria formally applied for full EU membership in December 1995. During the 1999 EU summit in Helsinki, the country was invited to start membership talks with the Union. On January 1, 2007 Bulgaria officially became a member of the European Union. In 1996, Bulgaria acceded to the Wassenaar Arrangement controlling exports of weapons and sensitive technology to countries of concern and also was admitted to the World Trade Organization. Bulgaria is a member of the Zangger Committee and the Nuclear Suppliers Group. After a period of equivocation under a socialist government, in March 1997 a UDF-led caretaker cabinet applied for full NATO membership, which became a reality in April 2004.

Bulgaria and the United States signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement in 2006 providing for military bases and training camps of the U.S. Army in Bulgaria, as part of the Pentagon's restructuring plan.

The HIV trial in Libya resulted in the release of Bulgarian nurses imprisoned by Muammar Gaddafi's government in Libya. French President Nicolas Sarkozy secured the release in exchange for several business deals.[2][3]

In November 2010, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov formally announced his team proposes to close seven embassies as part of a plan for restructuring and austerity measures.

Thus, in 2011, Bulgaria will most likely shut down its diplomatic missions in Sudan, Angola, Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Thailand, Mexico, and Tunisia. The choice is based on a scrutinizing financial analysis and on the necessity to optimize the diplomatic corps, the Ministry says. The staff of the Bulgarian diplomatic corps will be reduced by 15 people in total.

In June 2010, media reports claimed that Bulgaria considers closing a total of 30 of its diplomatic missions abroad. Currently, Bulgaria has 83 embassies, 6 permanent representations, 20 consular offices, and 2 diplomatic bureaus. The proposed closures have been backed by PM Borisov who described some of Bulgaria's embassies as useless.[4]

NATOEdit

 
Flags of NATO, Bulgaria, European Union at the Military club of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Bulgaria joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994 and applied for NATO membership in 1997. During the November 2002 Prague Summit Bulgaria was one of seven former socialist countries invited to join the Alliance. Bulgaria became a member of NATO in March 2004. The country is also working toward NATO compatibility in communications and training, and has established a Peacekeeping Training Center.

UNEdit

In 2003, Bulgaria was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, proving to be one of 3 closest U.S. allies during the Iraqi Crisis, together with the UK and Spain. Bulgaria also presided the OSCE in 2004.

Illicit drugsEdit

Major European transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and, to a lesser degree, South American cocaine for the European market; limited producer of precursor chemicals.

Relations by region and countryEdit

AfricaEdit

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Algeria 1964
  Angola 20 November 1975
  • Since 1976, Bulgaria has an embassy in Luanda.[7]
  • Angola is represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Athens (Greece).[8]
  Egypt See Bulgaria–Egypt relations
  Ethiopia
  Kenya
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Kenya from its embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • Kenya is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Berlin, Germany.
  Libya
  Morocco 01 September 1961
  Nigeria
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Abuja.
  • Nigeria is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Bucharest, Romania.
  South Africa 02 February 1992 See Bulgaria–South Africa relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Pretoria
  • Since 1992, South Africa has an embassy in Sofia.[10]
  Sudan 01 July 1956 See Bulgaria–Sudan relations

In 1967, Bulgaria sent the first Bulgarian ambassador to Khartoum. The activities of the Bulgarian embassy in Khartoum were terminated in April 1990.

  • Bulgaria is accredited to Sudan from its embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
  • Sudan has an embassy in Sofia.
  Tunisia 1956


AmericasEdit

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Argentina 1931
  • Argentina has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Buenos Aires.
  Belize 15 February 1994
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 15 February 1994.[13]
  • Bulgaria is represented in Belize through its embassy in Mexico City.[14]
  Brazil
  • Brazil has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Brasília.
  Canada See Bulgaria–Canada relations
  Chile
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Chile from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Chile is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Bucharest, Romania and maintains an honorary consulate in Sofia.
  Colombia 08 May 1973
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Colombia from its embassy in Brasília, Brazil.
  • Colombia is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Warsaw, Poland.
  Cuba
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Havana.
  • Cuba has an embassy in Sofia.
  Dominica
  • Bulgaria is represented in Dominica through its embassy in Havana, Cuba.[18]
  Ecuador
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Ecuador from its embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
  • Ecuador is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Budapest, Romania and maintains an honorary consulate in Sofia.
  Mexico 06 January 1938 See Bulgaria–Mexico relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Mexico City.[19]
  • Mexico is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Budapest, Hungary and maintains an honorary consulate in Sofia.[20]
  Paraguay 02 December 1992 1992-12-02
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Paraguay from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Paraguay is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Rome, Italy.[21]
  Peru 1969
  • Peru closed its embassy in Sofia for economic reasons in 2003.
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Peru from its embassy in Brasilia, Brazil.
  • Peru is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Athens, Greece.[22]
  United States 1903 See Bulgaria–United States relations

Bulgarian-American relations, first formally established in 1903, have moved from missionary activity and American support for Bulgarian independence in the late 19th century to the growth of trade and commerce in the early 20th century, to reluctant hostility during World War I and open war and bombardment in World War II, to ideological confrontation during the Cold War, to partnership with the United States in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and growing political, military and economic ties in the beginning of the 21st century.

  Uruguay
  • Bulgaria is accredited to Uruguay from its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  • Uruguay is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Bucharest, Romania and maintains an honorary consulate in Sofia.


AsiaEdit

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Afghanistan 12 July 1961
  Armenia 1932 See Armenia–Bulgaria relations
  Azerbaijan 6 May 1992 1992-06-05
  China 04 October 1949 See Bulgaria–China relations
  Georgia 05 June 1992 See Bulgaria–Georgia relations
  India 1954 See Bulgaria–India relations
  Indonesia 21 September 1956 See Bulgaria–Indonesia relations

Bulgaria was among the States that recognized Indonesia's independence on September 21, 1956. The two countries established diplomatic relations on . Bulgaria has had an embassy in Jakarta since October 1958 and Indonesia has had an embassy in Sofia Since 1960.[34]

  Iran 1897
  Iraq See Bulgaria–Iraq relations
  Israel
  Japan September 1959
  Kazakhstan 05 July 1992
  • Since 1994, Bulgaria has an embassy in Nur-Sultan.[44]
  • Since November 2004, Kazakhstan has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Sofia.
  Lebanon 19 September 1966
  Mongolia 22 April 1950 See Bulgaria–Mongolia relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Ulaanbaatar.
  • Mongolia has an embassy in Sofia.
  North Korea 29 November 1948
  Pakistan 1970
  • Since 1974, Bulgaria has an embassy in Islamabad.[47]
  • Pakistan reopened its embassy in Sofia. Pakistan has an embassy in Sofia.
  Palestine 1975
  South Korea 23 March 1990 See Bulgaria–South Korea relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Република България began on 23 March 1990.

  • During the Cold War the Republic of Bulgaria had diplomatic relations only with North Korea however after the Cold War Bulgaria has also had diplomatic relations with South Korea.
  • See also Bulgaria–South Korea relations
  Syria 24 July 1954 See Bulgaria–Syria relations
  Thailand 10 April 1974
  • Since 1975, Bulgaria has an embassy in Bangkok.[54]
  • Thailand has an honorary consulate in Sofia.[55]
  • There is a Thai Village in Bulgaria since 2006 [56]
  Turkey See Bulgaria–Turkey relations
  United Arab Emirates
  • Bulgaria has a consulate-general in Dubai.
  • United Arab Emirates is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
  Uzbekistan 12 September 1992 See Bulgaria–Uzbekistan relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Tashkent.
  • Uzbekistan is accredited to Bulgaria from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tashkent.
  Vietnam 08 February 1950 See Bulgaria–Vietnam relations

EuropeEdit

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Albania See Albania–Bulgaria relations
  Austria 1878
  • Austria has an embassy in Sofia.[62]
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Vienna and an honorary consulate in Salzburg.[63]
  Belarus 26 March 1992
  • Bulgaria recognized Belarus on December 23, 1991.
  • Belarus has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Burgas.[64]
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Minsk.[65]
  Belgium 1879
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 15 January 1992
  Croatia 13 August 1992 See Bulgaria–Croatia relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Zagreb.[70]
  • Croatia has an embassy in Sofia.[71]
  Cyprus See Bulgaria–Cyprus relations
  Czech Republic 27 September 1920 See Bulgaria–Czech Republic relations
  • Relations were severed on June 1, 1939 and were restored on October 10, 1945.
  • On December 23, 1992, Bulgaria recognised the Czech Republic and established diplomatic relations with it at the level of embassies as of January 1, 1993.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Prague.[72]
  • Czech Republic has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.[73]
  • Both countries are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  Denmark See Bulgaria–Denmark relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Copenhagen.
  • Denmark has an embassy in Sofia.
  Estonia 20 May 1921 See Bulgaria–Estonia relations
  Finland 05 August 1918
  France 08 July 1879 See Bulgaria–France relations
  Germany See Bulgaria–Germany relations
  Greece 1908 See Bulgaria-Greece relations

Relations between Greece and Bulgaria have been very cordial since the 1950s, due to the strong cultural, political and religious ties between the two nations, preceded in the earlier 20th century by periods of intense mutual hostility. Since Bulgaria's independence in 1876, Greece and Bulgaria faced each other in three major wars: the Second Balkan War, the First World War and the Second World War, in which Bulgaria briefly occupied parts of northern Greece.

  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Athens and a consulate-general in Thessaloniki.
  • Greece has an embassy in Sofia and a consulate-general in Plovdiv.
  Hungary 1920 See Bulgaria–Hungary relations
  Ireland 1990
  Italy 1879 See Bulgaria–Italy relations
  Kosovo 20 March 2008 See Bulgaria–Kosovo relations

[82]

  Latvia See Bulgaria–Latvia relations
  Lithuania
  Malta
  • Bulgaria is represented in Malta through its embassy in Rome (Italy).[87]
  • Malta has 2 honorary consulates in Bulgaria (in Sofia and Varna).[88]
  Moldova 05 February 1992
  • Since 1992, Bulgaria has an embassy in Chişinău.[89]
  • Moldova has an embassy in Sofia.
  Montenegro 02 August 2006 See Bulgaria–Montenegro relations
  Netherlands See Bulgaria–Netherlands relations
  North Macedonia See Bulgaria–North Macedonia relations
  • Bulgaria was the first country to recognize Macedonia and the second to open an embassy.
  • The rules governing good neighbourly relations agreed between Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia were set in the Joint Declaration of February 22, 1999 reaffirmed by a joint memorandum signed on January 22, 2008 in Sofia.[92]
  Norway 21 August 1906
  • Since April 1918, Bulgaria has an embassy in Oslo.[93]
  • Norway has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.[94]
  Poland
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Warsaw and an honorary consulate in Wroclaw.[95]
  • Poland has an embassy in Sofia.[96]
  Portugal 1925
  • Relations were severed in 1945 and were restored on June 24, 1974.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon.[97]
  • Portugal has an embassy in Sofia.[98]
  Romania See Bulgaria–Romania relations

Bulgarian relations with Romania featured regular official visits by the two presidents. Romanian-Bulgarian relations are developing "very intensively" because of EU accession, since Romania and Bulgaria joined together the European Union in 2007. Romania and Bulgaria have never had any serious conflicts, other than a territorial dispute over the Dobruja region in 1913-1940, now largely forgotten. Vidin and Calafat have perhaps the closest relations of any towns along this lower section of the Danube. There is a regular ferry service, so locals here have regular interchange with their neighbors across the border.

  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Bucharest.
  • Romania has an embassy in Sofia.
  Russia 07 July 1879 See Bulgaria–Russia relations
  Serbia 18 January 1879 See Bulgaria–Serbia relations
  Slovakia 01 January 1993 See Bulgaria–Slovakia relations
  • Bulgaria recognized Slovakia on December 23, 1992.
  • Since February 1994, Bulgaria has an embassy in Bratislava.[101]
  • Since June 1994, Slovakia has an embassy in Sofia.[102]
  Slovenia See Bulgaria–Slovenia relations
  Spain 08 May 1910 See Bulgaria–Spain relations
  Sweden 06 July 1914
  • Since 1915, Bulgaria has an embassy in Stockholm.[107]
  • Sweden has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.[108]
   Switzerland 1905
  Ukraine 1992

Ukrainian-Bulgarian relations are characterized by a constant active political dialogue at the highest level. Ukraine and Bulgaria actively cooperate and provide mutual support within the framework of regional and international organizations, such as the BSEC, the Central European Initiative, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the United Nations.

Bulgaria, has confirmed readiness to promote the European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. It occupies an important place in the Balkan direction of Ukraine's foreign policy interests, which is due to the geopolitical position of the country in the Balkans, the proximity of interests in the Black Sea and the Danube region. Ukraine and Bulgaria are united by ethnic, linguistic and religious components, traditional economic, trade and cultural-historical ties.

Bulgaria is an important market for Ukrainian products and the largest trade and economic partner of Ukraine in the Balkan region. In 2017, foreign trade between Ukraine and Bulgaria demonstrated growth dynamics.

  United Kingdom 1879 See Bulgaria–United Kingdom relations

OceaniaEdit

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  Australia 1972
  • Australia is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Athens, Greece and maintains an honorary consulate in Sofia.[115]
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Canberra.[116]
  New Zealand
  • Bulgaria is accredited to New Zealand from its embassy in Canberra, Australia.
  • New Zealand is accredited to Bulgaria from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit