Motives of the Yugoslav-Bulgarian Integration after World War II and in the Post-War Period

Igor Ivašković

Abstract


This article aims to present the motives of the geopolitical
restructuring of South-East Europe at the end of World War II
with an emphasis on relations between Yugoslavia and
Bulgaria. In this context, the author first identifies the interwar
interests of four involved parties, namely: the Yugoslav and
Bulgarian communist leaderships, and the political
representatives of the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. In
the second part, the author describes the development of the
idea of Yugoslav-Bulgarian integration after the War, first during
the period of rapprochement between two communist parties,
and then in the period of the Cominform crisis and the
dramatic turnaround in their relations. Besides different macro-
-geopolitical visions, the author also identifies significant
differences in motives at the micro-geopolitical level. Contrary
to the proclaimed idea of the 'South Slavic Brotherhood', the
Communist Party of Yugoslavia perceived the idea foremost as
a maneuvering tool in its relations with the UK and the Soviets,
while the Bulgarian Communist Party used the (con)federal idea
for pursuing multi-layered interests. It was primarily a part of
the strategy for resolving the Macedonian question, but the
alliance with Yugoslavia was also a tool for protecting Bulgarian
territories in the relations with Greece, and consequently
leverage for strengthening the internal position of Bulgarian
communists in the post-war consolidation process.

Keywords


South-East Europe; Yugoslavia; Bulgaria; World War II; Cominform

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Copyright (c) 2022 Igor Ivašković

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