BULGARIA'S MULTI-VECTOR FOREIGN POLICY APPROACH TO SECURITY CHALLENGES IN EASTERN EUROPE
AIR WAR COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB United States
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The high tensions in Eastern Europe fomented by the Ukrainian crisis and Russias annexation of Crimea came as the first surprising shock for the European security after the end of the Cold War. The small Eastern European states are facing now a fundamentally altered strategic challenges. The re-emergence of Russia as an ambitious predatory actor, the EU with facing the BREXIT and failing to get back on track as a first-tier geopolitical player, and the abatement of US interest in Europe, will require wise foreign policy maneuvers to address the changes in the transformed security environment. As outside leverages of security become less reliable while Russias destabilizing tendencies more apparent, the small Eastern European nations, like Bulgaria, will have to rethink their policy options and adapt their strategies to the changing security circumstances based on their current and projected power capabilities. This study proposes the implementation of a multi-vector policy which should focus on loyalty and firm commitment to the EU and NATO allies, while avoiding alienation with Russia and exploiting all prudent opportunities for mitigating the threat of energy supply catastrophe. In support of this strategic approach, this paper finds a theoretical explanation in the realist school of study and presents an analysis of the reasons, costs and benefits for each policy option.
- Government and Political Science