The Russian embassy in Sofia has responded to the sharp criticism levelled at it by Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry over an exhibition planned to commemorate the September 9 1944 Red Army invasion of Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry, in a strongly-worded statement, rejected the use of the term “liberation” in connection with the invasion, emphasising that it had ushered decades of oppression for Bulgaria.
It distanced itself from the planned exhibition and accused the embassy of interfering in Bulgaria’s domestic politics, on a matter that the Foreign Ministry said should best be left to professional examination by historians.
The Russian embassy said that the exhibition dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Eastern Europe from Nazism, which will be presented in its cultural and information centre on September 9, had been prepared with the assistance of the Russian Historical Society and is aimed exclusively at introducing to Bulgarian society materials from the Russian archives.
“Many of these documents have hitherto been unpublished or recently declassified and speak of the Red Army’s decisive role in ridding humanity of the fascist plague.
“This exhibition has nothing to do with today’s Bulgarian domestic political debate or with individual political forces, so we are to some extent surprised that any formal statements can be made prior to the exhibition itself,” the Russian embassy said.
(Photo of Russian ambassador to Bulgaria Anatoliy Makarov: Russian embassy)