Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Bulgaria summons Russia’s ambassador

Bulgaria protested to Russia on Thursday for putting Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev on a wanted list, with its prime minister criticising the move as an intimidatory tactic designed to muzzle free speech. The foreign ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador to Sofia, Eleonora Mitrofanova, to deliver the protest. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/bulgaria-summons-russian-envoy-over-bellingcat-journalist-grozev-2022-12-29/) Grozev, chief investigator on Russia for the Bellingcat news outlet, is “wanted under an article of the Criminal Code,” according to information published on Russia’s interior ministry website this week. Interim PM Galab Donev said Bulgaria would demand full information from Russia on why Grozev had been put on the list. “This act is unacceptable. It represents an attack on freedom of speech and an attempt to intimidate a Bulgarian citizen,” Donev told reporters. Grozev has angered Moscow with investigations into the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and the downing of the MH17 passenger plane over eastern Ukraine. Russia has denied responsibility for any of those attacks.

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