Russian-Owned Properties in East Bulgaria Number 500 000
As many as 500 000 properties in Eastern Bulgaria are owned by Russian citizens, the country's General Consulate in the country estimates.
At the same time, five Russians have become Bulgarian citizens by paying BGN 1 M in 2014, an option allowed under Bulgarian law.
Most Russians, who are temporarily or permanently based in the districts of Varna, Dobrich, Shumen (in the north-east) or Burgas, Sliven and Yambol (south-east) are involved in business activities such as real estate or tourism.
Many tend to purchase a dwelling in Bulgaria to live here and not only for the holidays, the consulate says cited by private TV station BTV. The Black Sea coast their preferred area.
In a decade, Russians have invested nearly USD 2 B into Bulgaria. This corresponds to what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted during his visit to Sofia in July, though he also put the number of Russian citizens having bought properties in Bulgaria at over 300 000.
However, recent reports also suggest the number of Russians buying housing in Bulgaria has dwindled, partly due to Russia's currency crisis.
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