Country Listing

Bulgaria Table of Contents



In the early 1980s, Bulgarian relations with Romania featured regular official visits by Zhivkov and Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and diplomatic avoidance of differing approaches to internal control (Romania being the more totalitarian) and the Warsaw Pact (see Glossary) (Bulgaria being the more loyal member). At that point, both countries concentrated on more pressing foreign issues, and both advocated creating a Balkan nuclear-free zone. But during the 1980s, relations were strained by the independent foreign policy of Romania, its opposition to perestroika in the late 1980s, and mutual accusations of environmental pollution affecting the other country. Deteriorating personal relations between Zhivkov and the maverick Ceausescu also may have contributed to the decline. But, in the name of Warsaw Pact solidarity, the Zhivkov regime subdued criticism of chemical pollution from Romanian plants across the Danube, and it remained neutral in the Hungarian-Romanian dispute over Romanian treatment of ethnic Hungarians in that country in the late 1980s. After the emergence of the environment as a political issue in 1989, however, accusations became more harsh on both sides. In 1991 joint commissions attempted to reach a compromise on the environmental issue and restore the pragmatic, relatively amicable relationship of the postwar years.

Data as of June 1992