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Archive for Bulgaria

Newsline: Russia summons Bulgarian ambassador over expulsion of diplomats

Bulgaria’s ambassador was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday in connection with the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Bulgaria last month who had been accused of spying, the RIA news agency reported. (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-bulgaria-espionage-idUKKBN26X0YF) Moscow had promised retaliatory measures after the diplomats were declared ‘personae non gratae’. RIA showed footage of the ambassador arriving at the ministry.

Newsline: Bulgaria and Slovakia recalling ambassadors from Belarus

Bulgaria and Slovakia are recalling their ambassadors to Belarus for consultations in solidarity with Lithuania and Poland, their foreign ministers said on Thursday after meeting Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Bratislava. “Steps taken by Belarus authorities against other EU Member states are unacceptable. EU remains united in its support of people of Belarus,” Slovak Foreign Ministers Ivan Korcok tweeted. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-belarus-election-bulgaria-diplomacy/bulgaria-recalls-its-ambassador-from-belarus-foreign-minister-idUSKBN26T2L6) Poland and Lithuania recalled their ambassadors on Tuesday to defuse regional tensions after Belarus demanded they cut staff at their embassy for their “destructive” actions. Four more EU nations, including Germany, did same on Wednesday, to show support for Poland and Lithuania.

Newsline: Russian diplomats declared persona non grata leave Bulgaria

Russian diplomats, who were declared persona non grata in Bulgaria on espionage charges, left the country, Russia’s embassy in Sofia told TASS. “The Russian diplomats left the territory of Bulgaria on Friday evening,” the source said. (https://tass.com/politics/1205271) On Wednesday, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office accused two employees from the Russian trade mission of espionage. The authorities insisted that the two had been engaged in alleged spying activities in Bulgaria since 2016, supposedly collecting data on plans to upgrade the Bulgarian army and maintain the technical readiness of military hardware. The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry declared the two personae non grata, giving them 72 hours to leave the country. The Russian Embassy castigated the expulsion as baseless, emphasizing that no evidence had been furnished to confirm any sort of activity incompatible with their status.

Newsline: Russia says regrets Bulgaria’s decision to expel diplomats, promises retaliatory measures

Moscow on Thursday expressed regret at Bulgaria’s decision to declare two Russian diplomats ‘persona non grata’ and promised details on retaliatory measures at a later date, the foreign ministry said in a statement. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bulgaria-russia-espionage-moscow/russia-says-regrets-bulgarias-decision-to-expel-diplomats-promises-retaliatory-measures-idUSKCN26F196) Bulgaria on Wednesday said it had expelled two Russian diplomats who prosecutors suspect were involved in spying, giving them 72 hours to leave the Balkan country, a move the Russian Embassy in Sofia described as “groundless”.

Newsline: Bulgaria expels two Russian diplomats accused of spying

Bulgaria has expelled two Russian diplomats who prosecutors suspect were involved in spying, giving them 72 hours to leave the Balkan country, the foreign ministry said on Wednesday. “Bulgaria’s foreign ministry has declared two Russian diplomats ‘personae non gratae’ and has informed the Russian embassy with a diplomatic note,” a ministry spokesman said. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bulgaria-russia-espionage/bulgaria-expels-two-russian-diplomats-accused-of-spying-idUSKCN26E2K2) EU and NATO member Bulgaria, which usually maintains good ties with Russia, has kicked out three other Russian diplomats over espionage allegations since last October. It also declined to grant a visa to Russia’s incoming defence attache in December.

Newsline: Bulgaria Recalls Embassy Official From Netherlands Over Illegally Collecting Coronavirus ‘Tax’

A senior official at the Bulgarian embassy in The Hague has been recalled for illegally collecting what he called a coronavirus tax from visitors seeking consular assistance, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said. The ministry said the head of the consular section in the Dutch city had been collecting 5 euros ($5.45) from Bulgarian visitors to the embassy as well as a 10 euro-tax from visitors from other countries.”Such behaviour is completely incompatible with the Bulgarian diplomatic service and cannot be tolerated in any way,” Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said in a statement. (https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-04-07/bulgaria-recalls-embassy-official-from-netherlands-over-illegally-collecting-coronavirus-tax) The ministry said disciplinary proceedings would be initiated, adding that explanations have also been sought from Bulgaria’s ambassador to Netherlands. The embassy did not respond to calls seeking comment.

Newsline: Bulgaria expels two Russian diplomats for espionage

Bulgaria expelled two Russian diplomats who prosecutors suspect were involved in espionage and gave them 48 hours to leave the Balkan country, the foreign ministry said on Friday. EU and NATO member Bulgaria, which traditionally keeps close links to Russia, expelled another diplomat over espionage allegations in October and declined to grant a visa to Russia’s incoming defense attache. The Russian Embassy in Sofia said the two diplomats would leave Bulgaria, but Moscow reserved its right to respond to their expulsions. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bulgaria-russia/bulgaria-expels-two-russian-diplomats-for-espionage-idUSKBN1ZN10K) The embassy said Sofia had handed diplomatic notes to the ambassador without providing any proof that the two had acted in a way incompatible with their status. Earlier on Friday Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zharieva said the two would most likely be expelled after the foreign ministry was informed about the prosecutors’ allegations.

Newsline: Russia declares Bulgarian embassy counsellor persona non grata

A note declaring a Bulgarian embassy counsellor persona non grata has been handed over to Bulgarian Ambassador to Moscow Atanas Krastin, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday. “The move is a tit-for-tat response to the Bulgarian authorities’ October decision to expel a Russian diplomat,” the statement reads. (https://tass.com/politics/1096095) On October 29, Bulgaria declared a Russian embassy employee persona non grata, saying he was suspected of espionage. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said then that Moscow would consider retaliatory measures “in accordance with diplomatic practice.”.

Newsline: Kazakh President Appoints His Brother-In-Law As Ambassador To Bulgaria

Kazakh President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev has appointed his brother-in-law Temirtai Izbastin as Kazakhstan’s ambassador to Bulgaria. Kazakhstan’s presidential press service announced the appointment on November 1. The 61-year-old Izbastin is the husband of Toqaev’s sister Qarlygha Izbastina. He has been working at Kazakhstan’s diplomatic missions in other countries since 1994. Media reports say Toqaev’s son, Timur Toqaev, and Izbastin’s son, Mukhamed, are the founders of the Abi Petroleum Capital oil company — a firm that operates in Kazakhstan’s western region of Atyrau. (https://www.rferl.org/a/kazakh-president-appoints-brother-in-law-ambassador-bulgaria/30248382.html) Toqaev, 66, became Kazakhstan’s president after the country’s long-time leader, President Nursultan Nazarbaev, announced his surprise resignation in March.

Newsline: Bulgaria gave Russian diplomat 24 hours to leave

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry gave a Russian diplomat allegedly involved in espionage 24 hours to leave the country after it found that its request to Moscow to recall him had not been carried out. The ministry was forced to hand a written note to the Russian ambassador early after the Russian embassy informed it that the diplomat was still in Bulgaria, it said in a statement. In a rare move, Bulgaria expelled the diplomat after prosecutors said he had held conspiratorial meetings with Bulgarians, including with a senior official with a clearance for classified information from the European Union and NATO since last September. “The Russian embassy has received a note from the Bulgarian foreign ministry declaring an embassy’s employee a persona non grata. The diplomat will leave the country in the note’s outlined timeline,” the embassy said in a posting on Twitter, adding that the Russian side is reserving its right to take corresponding measures. (https://news.yahoo.com/bulgaria-gives-russian-diplomat-24-160126668.html) Bulgaria, a loyal ally of Moscow in Soviet times, is now a member of NATO and the European Union but has close cultural and historic ties to Russia, which remains its biggest energy supplier. Sofia did not join its NATO and EU allies in expelling Russian diplomats over the nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England last year.