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Bulgaria Table of Contents


Relations with Balkan Neighbors

Although the Zhivkov regime often advocated closer relations and multilateral cooperation with Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, and Romania, a number of traditional issues barred significant improvement until the late 1980s. Bulgarian proposals to make the Balkans a zone free of chemical and nuclear weapons, or a "zone of peace and understanding" (advanced by Zhivkov at the behest of the Soviet Union, and to eliminate weapons of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--see Glossary) from the region) was vetoed on several occasions. But in 1990, Zhelev was able to remove some of the suspicion that had barred rapprochement by the Zhivkov regime. Post-Zhivkov regimes sought closer relations with both Greece and Turkey, partly in the hope that NATO would grant Bulgaria membership to form a bridge between its two mutually hostile members.

Data as of June 1992