Bulgaria and Greece: Anti-Russia, Spyware, and US-educated

Bulgaria and Greece: Anti-Russia, Spyware, and US-educated

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece and the recently dethroned Prime Minister Kiril Petkov of Bulgaria share the same convenient US educational links. Thus two nations, with traditionally good relations with the Russian Federation concerning the Orthodox Christian roots of all three nations and stemming Ottoman Islam in history, turned their back and followed the US mantra of America under President Biden. 

Mitsotakis and Petkov support Ukraine militarily and politically. It isn’t merely about NATO because Hungary and Turkey have adopted independent policies to the crisis between Ukraine and the indigenous Russians and non-ethnic Russians who support the Russian Federation in the Donbass (Donbas) region. Therefore, Bulgaria and Greece could have taken a more nuanced stance on the crisis. 

Greece internally is blighted by holding a high debt that amounts to 189% of GDP. At the same time, sanctions on the Russian Federation – coming hot on the economic convulsions of the coronavirus (Covid-19) – wasn’t warranted to such a level even if Mitsotakis and Petkov oppose the Russian Federation. 

Mitsotakis and Petkov showed their “real US masks” rather than being neutral or less confrontational: similar to Austria and Hungary. Serbia, despite economic blackmail from America and the European Union; remains open to the Russian Federation while also being favorable to the European Union under the current leader. However, Bulgaria and Greece took a confrontational approach to the Russian Federation under Mitsotakis and Petkov in line with America, Poland, the United Kingdom, and the Baltic states concerning NATO. 

Mitsotakis is currently mired in a spyware (Predator) scandal which looks set to create internal political convulsions. This relates to the intelligence services spying on the leader of Pasok. Therefore, if America and the European Union brush this under the carpet, it says much about what is happening in the corridors of power. 

The Guardian reports, “Amid calls for Mitsotakis’s resignation and a parliamentary inquiry set to start on Monday, the unusually heated debate has opened a Pandora’s box with potentially dramatic reverberations for the center-right government before general elections next year.”

Alexis Tsipras, the former Prime Minister (Syriza), rebuked Mitsotakis strongly. He said, “You gave the order for [EYP] to follow him… You wanted to have absolute control over developments in the third [biggest] party to ensure control over political developments ahead of a new parliamentary law of proportional representation which requires governments of coalition.”

Nikos Androukalis, the leader of Pasok, said, “I never expected the Greek government to follow me with these darkest practices. All this proves that Mitsotakis and his government are exposing the country internationally.”

The spyware system (Predator) – was used for at least three months against Androukalis. Thus, not only was Predator spyware tracking his phone: but if Androukalis clicked on the wrong link, his mobile phone would have become a listening device.

The Director of the parliamentary office of Pasok, Thanasis Glavinas, uttered, “They claim it was for national security reasons, so what are they? Is he a spy? Is he a threat? We need to know. It is outrageous that these shadows of doubt should be cast over a man who, when elections come, will be a candidate for prime minister.”

Petkov, the former leader of Bulgaria, was also educated in America. He took an openly hostile anti-Russian Federation stance similar to Mitsotakis. Therefore, he recently lost a no-confidence vote concerning his pro-US and pro-European Union stance concerning the North Macedonia question, Ukraine, and other important issues like energy.

Historically, Russia and Bulgaria hold strong ties that date back several centuries. Yet, US-educated Petkov – similar to US-educated Mitsotakis – took a pro-America, pro-NATO, and pro-Ukraine stance above what was required. 

Firstly, Petkov’s North Macedonia stance meant nationalists opposed him. Secondly, with Bulgaria now taking a hostile stance against the Russian Federation, this set off negative relations with President Rumen Radev who is more sympathetic toward the Russian Federation. Thirdly, once Bulgaria began to send military arms to Ukraine then this upset the Bulgarian Socialists who sought a neutral stance.

The caretaker Prime Minister, Galab Donev of Bulgaria, seeks a more nuanced stance concerning the geopolitical realities of this nation. A lot depends on the upcoming election in early October. However, it appears that the next prime minister of Bulgaria will adopt a less confrontational approach with the Russian Federation – related to Ukraine and the energy angle. 

Bulgaria and Greece are witnessing political convulsions concerning the pro-Washington angle, Ukraine, spyware (Greece), and other negatives. A more nuanced stance based on history and geopolitics – similar to Hungary – would dampen the political convulsions.

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