Moscow’s message to Bulgarian journalist: ‘Do not ever come to Russia’

Fri, 30 Dec 2022 7:46 GMT
‘This decision is only a warning’ for Christo Grozev, says Russian envoy to Sofia.
Moscow’s message to Bulgarian journalist: ‘Do not ever come to Russia’

Russia’s ambassador to Sofia told a Bulgarian journalist Thursday that he can go anywhere but Russia after the envoy was summoned to Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry to explain Moscow’s search warrant for Christo Grozev

Eleonora Mitrofanova was summoned to make a statement about Moscow’s warrant for Grozev.

Russia issued the warrant for the journalist who works for the Bellingcat website, which conducts international research.

The ministry did not make a statement about the meeting but Mitrofanova spoke to reporters and said: "We are not looking for Christo Grozev all over the world. Let him go wherever he wants. We just told him: ‘Do not ever come to Russia.’”

“This decision is only a warning. The Internal Ministry of Russia never explains the reasons for similar decisions it has made,” she said.
After Mitrofanova's statement, Grozev wrote on Twitter: "So they made a decision to call me to inform me that they don't want me."

The leader of five pro-EU and NATO political parties in parliament requested that Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov be summoned to parliament and report on the situation related to the Grozev incident during the first session on Jan. 3.

President Rumen Radev and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which continues the political tradition of the former Communist Party in parliament, as well as the Populist Rebirth Party, did not comment on the Grozev incident.

Prime Minister Gilib Donev conveyed in a statement Thursday that the government is in constant contact with the journalist.

Grozev is known for his research at Bellingcat on the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexey Navalny, former Russian spy Sergey Skripal, his daughter, Yulia, and Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev by Russian agents and other assassination attempts.  

Problems of teaching Bulgarian in occupied territories in Ukraine

Regarding the ban on teaching the Bulgarian language in schools in Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine, where a large Bulgarian diaspora lives, Mitrofanova said: "Education in 79 foreign languages is conducted in Russia, which is multinational.”

“There are not enough Bulgarian teachers in the territory of Russia.

“Many people have emigrated in areas where there are military activities, so some schools are operating with limited capacity,” she said.

She noted that necessary research will be carried out on the issue and information will be delivered to Bulgarian authorities.  


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