Foreign relations of Bulgaria

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Bulgaria

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.

Overview

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.

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.[1]

NATO

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.

UN

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 drugs

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.

By country

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Afghanistan 1961-07-12
 Albania See Albania–Bulgaria relations
 Algeria 1964
 Angola 1975-11-20
  • Since 1976, Bulgaria has an embassy in Luanda.[7]
  • Angola is represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Athens (Greece).[8]
 Argentina 1931
  • Argentina has an embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.[9]
  • Fondation Argentina-Bulgaria (Bulgarians living in Argentina)
  • Bulgarian embassy in Buenos Aires
 Armenia 1992
 Australia 1972
 Austria 1878
 Azerbaijan 1992-06-05
 Belarus 1992-03-26
  • Bulgaria recognized Belarus on December 23, 1991.
  • Belarus has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Burgas.[17]
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Minsk.[18]
 Belize 1994
  • Both countries have established diplomatic relations on 15 February 1994.[19]
  • Bulgaria is represented in Belize through its embassy in Mexico City.[20]
 Belgium 1879
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-01-15
 Czech Republic 1920-09-27
  • 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.[25]
  • Czech Republic has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.[26]
  • Both countries are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
 People's Republic of China 1949-10-04
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Beijing.[27]
  • China has an embassy in Sofia.[28]
  • Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
 Canada
 Colombia 1973-05-08
  • Colombia is represented through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland), and counts with an honorary consulate in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria is represented in Colombia through its embassy in Caracas (Venezuela).[32]
 Croatia 1992-08-13
 Cyprus see Bulgaria–Cyprus relations
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Nicosia, and honorary consulate in Limassol.
  • Cyprus has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria was one of the first countries to recognize Cypriot independence in 1960.
  • Cyprus Foreign Affairs: List of bilateral treaties with Bulgaria
 Denmark See Bulgaria–Denmark relations
 Dominica
  • Bulgaria is represented in Dominica through its embassy in Cuba.[35]
 Ecuador
  • Bulgaria has an honorary consulate in Quito.
 Egypt
 Estonia 1921-05-20
  • Bulgaria recognised Estonia on May 20, 1921 and re-recognised Estonia on August 26, 1991.
  • Both countries restored diplomatic relations on September 10, 1991.
  • In 2009, Bulgaria opened an embassy in Tallinn.
  • Estonia has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Sofia.
  • Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
 Finland 1918-08-05
  • In 1963, the diplomatic representations of the two countries were upgraded to the level of embassy.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Helsinki and an honorary consulate in Kemi.
  • Finland has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.
  • Bulgarian embassy in Helsinki
  • Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
  • Finnish embassy in Sofia
 France 1879-07-08
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Paris
  • France has an embassy in Sofia.
  • Bulgaria is a member of the Francophonie since 1993.
  • Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy played a role in the release of a Bulgarian nurse in the HIV trial in Libya.
  • Bulgarian embassy in Paris (in French only)
  • French Foreign Ministry about relations with Bulgaria
  • French embassy in Sofia (in French and Bulgarian only)
 Georgia 1992-06-05
 Germany
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Berlin, a general-consulate in Munich and an office in Bonn.[38]
  • Germany has an embassy in Sofia.[39]
  • German Foreign Ministry about relations with Bulgaria
 Greece 1908 see Greco-Bulgarian relations

Relations between Greece (the Hellenic Republic) and Bulgaria (the Republic of 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.

 Hungary 1920 See Bulgaria–Hungary relations
  • They were on the same side during World War I.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.
  • Bulgarian embassy in Budapest
  • Hungarian embassy in Sofia
 India 1954
 Indonesia 1956-09-21 see Bulgaria–Indonesia relations

Bulgaria was among the States that recognized Indonesia's independence since its Proclamation of Independence on August 17, 1945. The two countries established diplomatic relations on September 21, 1956. Bulgaria has had an embassy in Jakarta since October 1958 and Indonesia has had an embassy in Sofia Since 1960.[42]

 Iran 1897
 Iraq
 Ireland 1990
 Israel
 Italy 1879
 Japan 1959
  • Both countries re-established diplomatic relations in September 1959.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Tokyo and an honorary consulate in Yokohama.[55]
  • Japan has an embassy in Sofia.[56]
  • Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
 Kazakhstan 1992-07-05
  • Since 1994, Bulgaria has an embassy in Astana.[57]
  • Since November 2004, Kazakhstan has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Sofia.
 Kosovo 2008-03-20

[59]

 Latvia
  • Bulgaria is represented in Latvia through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and through an honorary consulate in Riga.[60]
  • Latvia is represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Warsaw (Poland) and through an honorary consulate in Sofia.[61]
  • Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
 Lebanon 1966-09-19
 Libya
 Lithuania
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Vilnius.[64]
  • Lithuania has an embassy in Sofia.[65]
  • Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign affairs: list of bilateral treaties with Bulgaria (in Lithuanian only)
 Republic of Macedonia
  • 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.[66]
 Malta
  • Bulgaria is represented in Malta through its embassy in Rome (Italy).[67]
  • Malta has 2 honorary consulates in Bulgaria (in Sofia and Varna).[68]
 Mexico 1938-01-06 See Bulgaria–Mexico relations
 Moldova 1992-02-05
 Mongolia 1950-04-22 see Bulgaria–Mongolia relations
  • Until the beginning of the 1990s Bulgaria was Mongolia's 3rd biggest trading partner.
 Montenegro 2006-08-02
  • Bulgaria recognized the Republic of Montenegro on June 12, 2006.
  • Bulgarian embassy in Podgorica (in Bulgarian only)
 Morocco 1961-09-01
 Netherlands
 Norway 1906-08-21
  • Since April 1918, Bulgaria has an embassy in Oslo.[76]
  • Norway has an embassy in Sofia and an honorary consulate in Varna.[77]
 North Korea 1948-11-29 Foreign relations of North Korea
 Pakistan 1970 See Pakistan-Bulgarian relations
  • Since 1974, Bulgaria has an embassy in Islamabad.[78]
  • Pakistan reopened its embassy in Sofia. Pakistan has an embassy in Sofia.
 Paraguay 1992-12-02
 Peru 1969
  • Peru closed its embassy in Sofia for economic reasons in 2003. Peru is now represented in Bulgaria through its embassy in Athens (Greece).[80]
  • Bulgaria is represented in Peru through its embassy in Brasília (Brazil).[81]
 Poland 1920s
 Portugal 1925
  • Relations were severed in 1945 and were restored on June 24, 1974.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy and an honorary consulate in Lisbon.[84]
  • Portugal has an embassy in Sofia.[85]
 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.

 Russia 1879-07-07 see Bulgaria–Russia relations
 Serbia 1879-01-18 see Bulgaria–Serbia relations
 Slovakia 1993-01-01
  • Bulgaria recognized Slovakia on December 23, 1992.
  • Since February 1994, Bulgaria has an embassy in Bratislava.[88]
  • Since June 1994, Slovakia has an embassy in Sofia.[89]
 Slovenia
 South Africa 1992-02-02
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Pretoria
  • Since 1992, South Africa has an embassy in Sofia.[92]
 South Korea 1990-03-23[93] See Bulgaria – South Korea relations
 Spain 1910-05-08
  • Relations were severed in 1946 and were restored in 1970 at the level of consular office and Trade Mission.
  • Since January 27, 1970, the diplomatic relations were elevated to embassy-level.
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Madrid and an honorary consulate in Barcelona.[96]
  • Spain has an embassy in Sofia.[97]
  • Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria (in Spanish only)
 Sudan 1956-07-01 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, and later reestablished in March, 2005. In 2006 the general consulate of the Sudan, in Sofia, Bulgaria has been upgraded to the rank of embassy.[98]

 Sweden 1914-07-06
  Switzerland 1905
  • Switzerland officially recognized Bulgaria on November 28, 1879
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in Bern.[101]
  • Switzerland has an embassy in Sofia.[102]
  • Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs about relations with Bulgaria
 Syria 1954-07-24
 Thailand 1974-04-10
  • Since 1975, Bulgaria has an embassy in Bangkok.[105]
  • Thailand has an honorary consulate in Sofia.[106]
  • There is a Thai Village in Bulgaria since 2006 [107]
 Tunisia 1956
 Turkey
 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.

 Uzbekistan 1992-09-12 See Bulgaria–Uzbekistan relations

Bulgaria has an embassy in Tashkent.[115] Uzbekistan is represented in Bulgaria through a non resident ambassador based in Tashkent (in the Foreign Ministry.)[116] Bulgaria provides a link in the trade corridor between Uzbekistan and the European Union, with important Black Sea ports. The two countries are interested in expanding trade by this route.[117] However, despite repeated discussions on the subject, Uzbekistan has so far declined to supply natural gas to the Nabucco pipeline, which, if built, would feed gas to Europe via Bulgaria.[118]

 United Kingdom 1879
  • Bulgaria has an embassy in London.[119]
  • The United Kingdom have an embassy in Sofia.[120]
  • British Foreign and Commonwealth Office about relations with Bulgaria
 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.

 Vietnam 1950-02-08

See also

References

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External links

  • Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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