Rogozin Stirkes Again: Bulgarians, Serbs Wanted for Russian Foreign Legion.
Rogozin's Russian Foreign Legion is supposed to be part of the Russian Army modeled after the French Foreign Legion, Russian media point out as cited by the Bulgarian daily Sega.
According to Rogozin, the proposed Russian Foreign Legion should be a "Slavic battalion" with Serbs and Bulgarians serving in it, the Russian paper Vesti points out.
The controversial Russian diplomat believes the soldiers in the "Slavic battalion" should receive Russian citizenship; he is reported to have already discussed his idea with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.
Rogozin's new initiative that many in Bulgaria are set to view as a provocation comes after several days ago 22 000 Kosovo Serbs applied for Russian citizenship in the hope that Russia will be able to defend their interests in the Albanian-majority Republic of Kosovo.
What is more, Rogozin, as well as several other Russian officials and political scientists associated with Vladimir Putin's ruling party United Russia have just called for "inviting" Bulgaria and a number of other states described as "loyal to Russian economic interests" into Putin's "Eurasian Union."
Russia's Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin Dmitry Rogozin is known for describing Bulgaria as "Russia's Trojan Horse in the EU" back in 2008.
However, Rogozin's new brainchild for a Russian Foreign Legion has already been dealt criticism.
"All of that is nice but only in theory. In reality, neither Serbs, nor Bulgarians will serve in the Russian Army. In spite of their relative spiritual closeness, Serbs and Bulgarians are too far away from Russia. I think this idea is practically unrealistic," Vladislav Shurigin, editor-in-chier of the Russian magazine "Soldiers of Russia", is quoted as saying.
Vladimir Evseev, Director of the Russian Center for Socio-Political Studies, believes that the formation of military units based on nationality can be dangerous.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on Rogozin's Slavic battalion idea, the Dnevnik daily reported.