Bulgaria’s geopolitical and geoeconomic reorientation (1989–2019)

  • Valentin Mihaylov University of Silesia
Keywords: Bulgaria, Balkans, European Union, Russia, geopolitical reorientation, energy geopolitics


Until the late 1980s and the dawn of the end of the Eastern Bloc, communist Bulgaria was considered to be the closest ally of the Soviet Union. Now, 30 years later, the Bulgarian state has been integrated into the main Euro-Atlantic organisations. Taking these radical changes as its starting point, this article outlines the process and consequences of post-1989 geopolitical and geoeconomic reorientation of Bulgaria. The aim was also to present the main geopolitical challenges in Bulgaria’s relations with Russia and Turkey. These states have been influencing the political, economic and cultural development of Bulgaria for centuries. The effects of their influence have remained problematic to this day. As Bulgaria remains a country with a complex geopolitical position, it continues its twentieth-century strategy and tries to maintain balance between its own national interest and the influence of the main centres of power. The author draws particular attention to the fact that the model based on the variability of geopolitical priorities was once again confirmed in the analysed period. This model is not only based on pragmatism in relations with the outside world, which is traditional for the Bulgarian political elite, but is also dependant on the temporary distribution of power within the Balkan geopolitical knot. It seems that the model will continue to be valid, at least in the near future.


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How to Cite
Mihaylov, V. (2019). Bulgaria’s geopolitical and geoeconomic reorientation (1989–2019). Journal of Geography, Politics and Society, 9(4), 12-23. https://doi.org/10.26881/jpgs.2019.4.02