|| issue 1, year XI, 2004
H. E. AMBASSADOR
OF RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Interviewer: Nadya Stancheva page 4
Special interview for Europe 2001 magazine
THE RELATIONS BETWEEN RUSSIA AND
BULGARIA: REALITIES AND PROSPECTS
Sergey Mironov, Chairman of the Federation
Council of the Federal Assembly
of the Russian Federation,
during his official visit to Bulgaria
The revival of cooperation and partnership between Russia and Bulgaria has reached a qualitatively new level now. It is now free of all the ideological stereotypes. This cooperation is underlined by sound pragmatism; it is based on mutually beneficial relations between the countries, on equal rights, straightforward and respectful interaction taking into consideration the interests of the other party. In the political sphere, Bulgaria is an important and prospective strategic partner of Russia on the Balkans. Our trade and economic relations have become notably more active. Although Russian-Bulgarian trade turnover increases from year to year, the possibilities are still not exhausted. Both countries recognize this fact. The volume of mutual investments could be greater, as well as the number of joint ventures. It is necessary to expand the assortment and to increase the share of delivered hi-tech products. We have great potential in the sphere of tourism. To date, the exchange of tourists between our countries is of unsteady nature. We should join our efforts in the search of possibilities for increasing the flow of tourists between the two countries. Culture is one of the most important aspects in the relations between our two peoples. The Bulgarians are a friendly people, an Orthodox one, and we are related because of our common Slav descent. Our countries can enrich each other in a lot of ways, through various initiatives in the sphere of cultural cooperation. And it is particularly important to draw young people into this process.
THE RUSSIAN CULTURAL
CENTER IN SOFIA - RCIC
The House of Soviet Science and Culture, as it was initially called, was opened on 30th May 1975. From this day on, a unique institute started functioning in Bulgaria, in which the Bulgarian citizens have the opportunity to become acquainted with various spheres of life in Russia. RCIC has a cinema hall and video halls with 300 and 85 seats, exhibition halls with total area 1200 sq. m. and a music hall, where chamber-music concerts take place. There is a library in the Center with 18 thousand volumes of fiction, scientific and technical literature, Russian magazines, volumes on Russian history, Orthodox Christian literature and books translated in Russian. The Russian Chamber Theatre puts on performances in the RCIC. One of the priorities in the work of RCIC is teaching Russian. During the course of the academic year the learners are able to prepare for an examination and be granted an international certificate in Russian approved by the Council of Europe. RCIC celebrated its 25-year anniversary in 2000.
BULGARIA - EU: 2004
Founding member of the
European Movement in Sofia page 13
The Council of Europe in Brussels has prepared the membership action plan for Bulgaria's accession to the EU and thus, finally, any doubts whether Bulgaria is wanted in the Union have faded.
The European Commission will present a proposal for a financial framework and positions for the remaining chapters of the negotiations of financial consequence. They will be based on the same principles and methodology as the negotiations with the ten first-wave candidates. This provides a good opportunity for our country to make its evaluation on what can be achieved in this part of the negotiations. But what is the degree of readiness?
In June Bulgaria and the EU will sign a Protocol for assessment of compliance and acceptance of industrial goods, which will facilitate the access of Bulgarian producers to the EU market. Of course, this will not relieve the Bulgarian business from the requirement to make the necessary investments for complying with the EU standards.
In September this year, the European Commission will prepare a new Regular Report on the Progress of Bulgaria and will make an overall assessment of the degree of readiness for EU membership. Then, the preparation of the Accession Agreement will begin, and the posts for Bulgarian officials in the EU institutions will be thrown open to competition.
RUSSIA AND THE EU -
BETWEEN SPACE AND TIME
Secretary General, Bulgarian European
Community Studies Association (BECSA) page 15
The celebrations of the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg in May 2003 were planned as a culmination point in the developing relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union. The EU-Russia Summit agreed upon a notable Joint Statement formulating a substantially new conception of strategic partnership. The long-term goal underlying it provides grounds for making such a conclusion about its importance - it is to construct four 'common spaces' for the Russian Federation and the future enlarged EU: a common economic space, a common space of freedom, security and justice, a common space of external security, a common space of research, education and culture. The multiplication of this 'space logic' reveals the chief disadvantage of the document - its failure to consider the 'time issue'. The particular schedules and deadlines specified for execution are insufficient, and they refer mainly to individual specific problems. The slow pace of reforms in economy and in society in general decrease the extent of predictability of bilateral relations. Besides, the time-space dilemma appears at a moment when the eastward expansion is still a future event. And now, when the negotiations of the 10 candidate countries have been completed, a new dilemma is rather sharply outlined in the EU-Russia dialogue. Will the bilateral relations between the European Union and Russia continue to be of a strategic nature, or will they remain simply a part of a future 'neighbourhood policy', oriented towards all the neighbours of the European Union after its eastward and southward expansion?
"RUSSIAN INVESTORS HAVE ALWAYS
SHOWN INTEREST IN BULGARIA."
An interview by Hristo Dzhenev page 18
Our export to Russia is about 15 times less than the import from that country. According to the Chairman of the Managing Committee of the Bulgarian-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ass. Prof. Dr. Zhelyu Dobrev, some of the reasons for this lie in the transport communications, the visa regimen between the two countries and the languid approach of the state authorities in solving these problems.
At the same time, a Russian investor will construct a children sanatorium at the seaside. Businessmen from the former Soviet Union also take an interest in investing in tourism and in the privatisation of electrical power distribution companies. According to Mr. Dobrev, a more open approach to foreign investors is necessary, provided that their money are not linked to terrorism and drugs.
Acad. Evgenii Primakov
An interview by Svetlana Sharenkova page 21
THE BULGARIAN SPIRIT
IN RUSSIAN ORTHODOXY
Dr. Goran Blagoev,
Bulgarian National Television page 24
The ancient Russian Chronicle of Yoakim relates that St. Vladimir, the prince that converted Russia to Christianity, was introduced to the new religion by some Bulgarians. This happened in 988. Mikhail the Bulgarian was the first of the eight Bulgarian prelates who occupied the seat of the Great Russian metropolitans. The most famous of these was St. Kyprianos the Bulgarian - born in Tarnovo, a descendant of the well-known boyar family of Tsamblak, a disciple of St. Teodosiy Tarnovski and a spiritual brother of St. Patriarch Evtimiy. In March 1390, Kyprianos was welcomed with an official ceremony to Moscow as the metropolitan of all Rus. During his life and in his work as an enlightener he managed to unite the Russian lands spiritually and to advance the authority of the Moscow Principality. He founded the oldest preserved monastery in Moscow - the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery. He introduced Patriarch Evtimiy's orthographic reform in Russia. After his death, his nephew, Gregory Tsamblak, took his place as the Great Russian metropolitan. After them, the Bulgarian Orthodoxy was spread on Russian soil by Gregory the Bulgarian (mid. 15th c.), the Kiev and Lithuanian metropolitan Yosif Bolgarinovich (late 15th c.), Nektariy Veleshki, ordained as Archbishop of Vologda in the beginning of the 17th c., and the Archbishop of Ohrid, Philotey, ordained as Bishop of Smolensk in the 18th c. Meanwhile, from the beginning of the 15th c. onwards, the reverse process started - ennobled and strengthened by the great achievements of the medieval Bulgarian Orthodox culture, the Russian Church provided funds and literature for the enslaved Christians on the Balkans...
THE NORTHERN PALMIRA -
Rozalina Evdokimova page 30
Northern Palmira, as St. Petersburg is often called, is a rarely beautiful city designed by the greatest architects of its time. Founded by Peter the Great, it was meant to be a 'window on Europe', and over the past three centuries it has become not only Russia's window on Europe, but also Europe's window on Russia.
Its strategic location has brought many ordeals to the city, the greatest of them being the 900-day blockade during World War II.
Rozalina Evdokimova, a journalist from the Russia Today, tells us of the amazing palaces, bridges and canals, of the huge artistic treasures in the museums, of the city's dynamic economic development, of its 300-year anniversary and of its hosts.
PROF. BOYAN BIOLCHEV
An interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova page 39
A PHILOSOPHER OF THE NEXT CENTURY
Svetlana Semyonova, PhD
Head of N. F. Fyodorov
Library-Museum - Moscow page 41
100 years have elapsed since the death of the Russian philosopher and originator of the philosophical and scientific school of Cosmism, Nikolay Fyodorovich Fyodorov /1829-1903/. His works, amazingly national in their insights and aspirations, at the same time soar to the universal, to worldwide ideas. It is in no way accidental that his contemporaries call him 'the Socrates from Moscow'. None of the brilliant constellation of Russian thinkers from the 19th and 20th century has exerted such a profound cultural influence as Fyodorov. His ideas reached writers and poets alike: F. Dostoevsky and L. Tolstoy, V. Bryusov and V. Mayakovsky, N. Klyuev and V. Hlebnikov, M. Gorki and M. Prishvin, A. Platonov and B. Pasternak. His projects inspired the artworks of V. Chekrygin and P. Filatov. He was deeply respected by the representatives of the Russian religious and philosophical revival V. Solovyov and N. Berdyaev, S. Bulgakov and P. Florensky. His ideas underlie the Cosmic and Noospheric ideas of the 20th century, represented by K. Tsiolkovsky and N. Umov, V. Vernadsky and A. Chizhevsky, H. Bergson and P. Teilhard de Chardin.
The possibility and necessity for the human mind to oppose diseases, old age, death, and in perspective - universal resurrection of the dead, the technological transformation of the cosmos and the creativity in a renewed Universe - those are the cosmic tasks that Fryodorov thought mankind should address.
KHAJURAHO - KAMA SUTRA CARVED IN STONE
Vladimir Bubnyak page 43
Khajuraho, a small town in the heart of Central India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is the home of an outstanding architectural complex of 22 temples devoted to the gods of the Hindu Pantheon. The complex dates back to 950-1050 A.D. and the time of the Chandella dynasty. The sculptural friezes, as well as the architecture itself, portray various aspects of the life of the Indian people, their vivacity and reverence for love, and can be said to have served as a kind of university for the generations.
ASYA PESOTSKAYA - METAL ART AND PAINTING
Dochka Kisyova - Gogova page 46
Asya Pesotskaya is a young artist realizing her potential in the field of metal arts and painting. Born in Moscow, she grew up in Sofia in an artistic family and this had a wholesome effect on her conception of the world and her future development as an artist. Asya Pesotskaya graduated from the National Academy of Arts, majoring in 'Metal arts' in Prof. Bogomil Nikolov's class. She took her degree in 2002 with wonderful metal art works - clocks with openwork, for the making of which she studied closely the history of clock design. She has also created plaquettes - commemorating the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Pushkin and 2000 years of the emergence of Christianity. They have been exhibited in prestigious medal sculpture exhibitions: FIDEM International Biennale of Medals in Paris and an exhibition-competition of the British Colleges of Arts in London.
Her quests in painting show an intriguing outline that will present her in a new light as an artist.
'ATELIER' PRESENTS -
LitArt PRESENTS -
He was born in 1960 in Sofia, where he lives and works to date. Besides poetry, he is also involved in political journalism, and he also translates from French, chiefly poetry. He is the laureate of many literary awards for poetry, among which: The Geo Milev Award - for contribution to modern art, The Golden Chain Award of Trud Newspaper, The Wooden Rose Award of Yanko Sakazov Foundation for his book Scarlet Decadence, The Vladimir Bashev First Book Award for Messenger, The Yavorov's Days Award, etc. Currently he works as an editor for Sega Newspaper. He also teaches creative writing at St. Kliment Ohridski Sofia University. He has published the following books: God Is Commander of the Guard, Critique of Poetry, Edwarda, Scarlet Decadence and Messenger. His works have been translated in Polish, English, German, French, Russian, Serbian and other languages. He has also translated books of poetry - by Joseph Brodsky, Robert Desnos, Jean de La Fontain, Nikolay Gumilyov, etc. He has been organizing the international poetic meeting The Drunken Metaphor within the Wine Culture Festival for 7 years now
LitArt PRESENTS -
Vadim Stepantsov is one of the most scandalous contemporary Russian poets. 15 years ago he founded the so-called Order of Courteous Mannerists and he proclaimed himself its Great Master. The Order includes several poets who often present readings and have extremely loyal and numerous public. What is characteristic of the poetry of the Order is that it is a combination of irony, a cult to hedonism and a curtsy both to the historical courteous poetry and to some Russian verbal traditions incarnated in the naughty verses of Pushkin, the poetry of Ivan Myatlev (1796 - 1844) and the attempts of Dostoevsky's protagonist Captain Golyadkin at writing verse... Besides being a poet and a Great Master, Stepantsov is also the founder and lead singer of the 'vandal-rock' band Bahyt-kompot, which occupies a serious place in the new Russian music. He was born in 1960 in the city of Tula, he graduated from A. M. Gorki Institute for Literature in Moscow and now lives in the capital. Stepantsov is the author of several books and is a leading figure in the Order's numerous luxurious editions of anthologies, printed in a very considerable number of copies. He is a member of the Union of Russian Writers. His works have been translated in more than 20 languages, and he has taken part in various Russian and international writers' meetings. Stepantsov also writes pop music lyrics - he is the author of a number of songs for the pop groups Bravo, Tatu, etc
'PHOTO ATELIER' PRESENTS -
DIMITAR GACHEV, A BULGARIAN -
FUNCTIONARY OF RUSSIAN CULTURE
Georgi Gachev, Peredelkino page 57
Dimitar Ivanov Gachev /1902 - 1945/ went to the USSR in 1926 as a political emigrant, and by the late 1920s and 1930s had an established reputation as a talented aesthete, musicologist and literary man. His book The Aesthetic Views of Diderot /1936/ is widely renowned. Philosophy, music and literature intersect in his work: Wagner and Feuerbach, Descartes and Aesthetics, Stendhal on Music, Romain Rolland - An Artist and Musician, The Music of the Talking Movies, etc. From 1935 till 1938 he was head of the Western Classical Art Department in the State Publishing House for Fiction and it is under his editorship and prefaces that many classical works of the world's literature were published, in particular - Denis Diderot's works, Boileau's The Art of Poetry, Heinrich Heine's Travel Pictures. He also popularized Bulgarian literature. He initiated the publishing of first edition of Hristo Smirnenski's poems Let There Be Light in 1935 and wrote the preface. In February 1938 Gachev - the Bulgarian, shared the fate of the majority of Russian intellectuals: he was repressed and sent to a camp in Kolima. The letters he wrote to his wife and son are a testimony of how a man of unbending spirit had managed to retain his personal dignity even through incredible hardships.
Jana Petrova page 48
A discussion in 'Translation Land' with the team of 'Bulgarski Text' Ltd, the people who translate Discovery Channel in Bulgarian. Are they discoverers themselves? Have they ever translated a definition of happiness and what is happiness to them? 'A supreme manifestation of curiosity', 'A film does not give you answers, only thousands of questions.' What do these people dream at night? A subtitle they have been pondering on all day? How does one become part of this team and what is it like to master the special equipment? It is as if you are about to launch a rocket. How does the translation of a popular science film begin? By researching the topic. Do translators have strict deadlines? What do they consider a well-done job? Translation should be so smooth and natural that when the film is over, the viewer should not remember having read any subtitles. What are the difficulties of their job? They have to decide what part of the original text to keep in the two rows of the subtitle and the few seconds available. 'My heart aches for every word I have to leave out'. But in this way the girls who work here become the ideal women - they speak briefly and to the point. And a little bit more about their sense of humour - 'When you translate about Nepal, it is like being sent on a mission to Nepal.' Where do they dream to travel? As in "Diceman" - you roll the dice and thus choose your next destination.
A 48-minute meeting - the duration of a 'long' film in Bulgarski Text.
ETROPOLE - A TOWN OF MEMORY
Bulgarian National Radio page 58
Under the Ethnic Culture heading, we present one of the smallest Bulgarian towns - Etropole. It is located some 70 km away from Sofia, the capital city.
Situated in the folds of the Balkan Mountains, Etropole is a municipal centre. The local people take pride in their rich, almost 2500-year history, in their achievements in culture, sports, and in their amateur art activities. It is curious that they have not only preserved most of their ancestors' traditions, but they have further developed and enriched their festive calendar. Everyone in the town can list the countless local celebrations, some of which have been introduced in more recent times. All the local people look eagerly forward to them. A prime example is Zetropole - Etroprle's Sons-in-law Day, which has turned from a local holiday into an international event. Along with the smiles and the bustle around the preparations, every visitor to the town can plunge into the charming atmosphere of a patriarchal society entwined with the distinctive local patriotism. The legend of Zolyo's Fountain is told with the greatest love. It is a kind of bond between past and present, as well as an unwitting and original example of continuity.
THE FIRST RUSSIAN MEDALS
Violeta Velikova-Kosheleva page 61