WORLD NEWS | Fri Nov 11, 2016 | 6:14am EST Bulgarian vote shows Russia winning hearts on EU’s eastern flank

Nearly 10 years after Bulgaria joined the European Union, many of its people feel their problems are too low down the priority list in Brussels.

Many disappointed Bulgarians are now looking toward Russia, their former overlord in the Soviet era, as a more relevant neighbor.

That sentiment is likely to be reinforced in a presidential election run-off on Sunday which former air force commander General Rumen Radev, who is friendly toward the Kremlin, is expected to win.

Radev’s position that Bulgaria, a NATO member, should hedge its bets when it comes to international alliances, has hit a nerve in the Black Sea state, which already depends on Russia for most of its energy, military equipment and tourism revenues.