Bulgaria’s Interior Ministry requested Information from Russia as to Why Christo Grozev is WantedPolitics | December 30, 2022, Friday // 11:42| views
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has sent an inquiry to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs requesting information on the reasons why Christo Grozev was placed on the list of most wanted citizens, BTV reports. The letter was signed by Caretaker Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev.
Christo Grozev, a journalist from the investigative website "Bellingcat", was declared wanted by the Russian Federation on December 26. Russian authorities did not specify the nature of the offenses for which he was wanted, only stating that they were contained in the criminal code. According to the "OVD-info" (ОВД-инфо) platform, known for its sources in the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, this was for spreading fake news about the Russian army - a crime that, after the invasion of Ukraine, is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and is often used for absurd cases.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Gulab Donev stated that Bulgaria was not officially informed by Russia about the charges brought against Grozev.
"For us, this act is unacceptable and represents an attack on freedom of speech and an attempt to intimidate a Bulgarian citizen", said Donev and added that the Bulgarian state will express its official protest and will demand full information about the grounds for this decision to the ambassador of Russian Federation Eleonora Mitrofanova, who was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for explanations on the case.
Later, Mitrofanova herself, on her way out of the ministry, announced that it had been agreed to request official information with details from the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs. She emphasized that Grozev is not threatened, but he should not go to Russia.
A day earlier, the presidency also came out with an official position, in which it is claimed that the Bulgarian institutions are in contact with Christo Grozev even before the media publications on the subject and that measures have been taken to guarantee his security, including through cooperation with partner services. Earlier, Grozev indicated that a number of foreign embassies had contacted him, but not the Bulgarian authorities.
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