Bulgarian–West German relations played a crucial role in Bulgarian foreign policy in Europe from the time the FRG became a leading West European political and economic power and a key member of both the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Economic Community. The normalization of official relations between Bulgaria and the FRG was significantly influenced by two major factors: the policy of closer coordination and multilateral interaction within the Warsaw Pact and the somewhat slower, though increasing, process of East-West détente and security negotiations in Europe through CSCE and the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction talks. This case study of the establishment of diplomatic relations between a powerful European state and a smaller one with opposite political orientation amid the East-West détente in the 1970s contributes to scholars’ understanding of the complex nature of international relations in Europe during the Cold War.

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