zloy_odessit (zloy_odessit) wrote,

Putin defies Bulgarian intelligence efforts, asserting dominance

In early September, Bulgarian security agencies succeeded in a wide-reaching effort to put to a halt espionage activities in the country's territory. It was mostly spy cells from Russia that were targeted in the raids.

In the framework of the major spy probe, the authorities detained Nikolai Malinov, chairman of the Bulgarian Russophiles movement, and Yuri Borisov, the organization's former secretary. Also, the Bulgarian National Security Agency imposed a 10-year entry ban on Russian billionaire Konstantin Malofeev. It was he who oversaw and provided financial support to the pro-Russian group.

Meanwhile, just the other day, on Oct 28, an employee of the Russian diplomatic mission engaged in espionage was expelled from Bulgaria.

But this is all a prelude to something that can only be called the Kremlin's bold demonstration of influence in Bulgaria!

Yesterday, November 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin, publicly and brazenly, awarded head of the Russophiles movement Nikolai Malinov, mentioned above, with the Order of Friendship.

That is, Putin does not even hide his interference in Bulgaria's internal affairs, defiantly calling out the Bulgarian National Security Agency and rewarding an espionage suspect.

We are yet to see the response to Putin's act of Bulgaria's security services… In any case, it's obvious that they are "all in" on countering precisely Russian spy threats so I don't rule out more diplomatic expulsions in the wake of such an outrageous step by Mr Putin.

On the other hand, such aggressive and somewhat ill-conceived steps on the part of Russia cannot but raise alarm. After all, all this can actually be a prelude to Russia's wider hybrid projects in Bulgaria.

Tags: english

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