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Rosen Plevneliev: 'We will find a solution'

Bulgaria's president discusses Russia, Crimea and how current tensions could impact the future of Eastern Europe.

Last updated: 15 Mar 2014 12:07
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Russian military power and corruption at the top are the two key problems said to be creating fear and anger in the streets of Kiev today. But it is not only in Ukraine. Many countries in Eastern Europe are facing the same struggle and one of them is Bulgaria.

What happens today in Crimea is very important and could set an example for the world to follow; and we hope that this is a good example, not a bad one.

Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgarian president

Bulgaria is a member of NATO and the European Union but the country is still dependent on gas from Moscow.

After several years of hard economic times and domestic abuse of power the citizens are angry. Many young people are living in poverty and they blame their politicians,

The man in the middle of all this is the president, Rosen Plevneliev.

He came to power two years ago aided by personal connections in the established power structure.

But he sees himself as an "outsider", a man who worked in the real economy as the owner of a construction company - the man Bulgaria needs.

His message to Moscow is this: "We call on Russia to keep to the international law. We will all be very concerned if this is not going to be the case."

Explaining the impact of Russian advances into Crimea, Plevneliev says: "Any annexation of territory in the Ukraine, no matter how big or how small it is, will create a long-term tension which will have its results in the long term, which will [take] our world and region back in time."

This week, as Bulgarian warships join American and Romanian troops in military exercises in the Black Sea, we ask: Where is Eastern Europe going? Is there a way to cut both the Russian influence and the role of corruption? And will Bulgaria feel the heat of the Ukrainian crisis?

We find out as Rosen Plevneliev, the president of Bulgaria, talks to Al Jazeera.

Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430 and 1930; Sunday: 1930; Monday: 1430 .  

Watch more Talk to Al Jazeera

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