Bulgaria expels Russian correspondent deemed threat to national security

Bulgaria expels Russian correspondent deemed threat to national security | INFBusiness.com

Bulgaria has removed Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s Bulgarian correspondent Alexander Gatsak after declaring him a threat to national security and banning him from entering and staying in the EU, the State Agency for National Security (SANS) said on Wednesday, in a move, Russia called illegal and vowed to respond to.

“Gatsak was summoned on 29 September to be served with the expulsion order, issued on 20 September, at the Ministry of the Interior, and later at SANS. The Russian citizen refused to appear at the Bulgarian state departments and was hiding in the territory of the Embassy of the Russian Federation,” SANS informed.

The agency sought the assistance of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“The person left the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria on November 1, 2023,” the announcement states, adding that the actions of SANS are not directed against freedom of speech but comply with the legislation of Bulgaria and the EU, as well as pan-European democratic norms and values.

“Russia will take response measures against the actions of the Bulgarian authorities against the correspondent of Rossiyskaya Gazeta in Bulgaria,” Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, said about Bulgaria’s decision.

“This is another illegal move against Russian journalists by NATO members who are maniacally chasing us,” she added, as quoted by TASS.

Earlier, TASS reported that the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry cancelled Gatsak’s accreditation without explanation and threatened him with expulsion.

Meanwhile, Bulgarian National Radio announced that its correspondent Angel Grigorov, the only representative of Bulgarian public media in Moscow, had been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry. However, no details on the matter have been disclosed for now.

“Gatsak has been working in Sofia for several years and constantly publishes materials on the domestic and foreign policy issues of this Eastern European country,” said an article on Grigorov’s expulsion published in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

The article also refers to the expulsion from the country of the head of the Russian Church in Sofia, Archimandrite Vasian.

He and other church officials were expelled in September as a threat to Bulgaria’s national security. After that, the Russian embassy closed the temple, which is located in the centre of Sofia and for which there is a notary deed from 1997 that it is the property of the Russian embassy.

The prosecutor’s office has led an investigation into the case and found law violations, prompting acting chief prosecutor Borislav Sarafov on Wednesday to ask Regional Development Minister Andrei Tsekov to file a case for state ownership.

(Krassen Nikolov | Euractiv.bg)

Read more with EURACTIV

Bulgaria expels Russian correspondent deemed threat to national security | INFBusiness.com

Dutch arrest counterterrorism official for alleged leak to MoroccoDutch authorities arrested a counter-terrorism official and a policewoman last week for allegedly leaking state secrets, the Dutch Public Prosecutor announced on Wednesday, with various media reporting that Morocco had benefited from the leaks.

Source: euractiv.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *