National Security Agency: Bulgaria is an Object of Systematic Intelligence Interest

Politics » DEFENSE | September 14, 2022, Wednesday // 14:06
Bulgaria: National Security Agency: Bulgaria is an Object of Systematic Intelligence Interest @euractiv.com

Bulgaria continues to be the object of systematic intelligence interest. This is according to a report of the State Agency for National Security (SANS) for last year, the BNR reported.

SANS points out that the activities of a group of Bulgarians who spied for Russia, as well as of Russian citizens connected to the Russian special services, were stopped.

"In order to counter the possibility of terrorists infiltrating our country, the National Security Agency carries out round-the-clock inspections of signals from the border authorities for matching with the profiles created in the developed system for the identification of traveling foreign fighters. In 2021, 6,208 such inspections were carried out, as a result of that persons of this risk category are not allowed to pass through our territory," the published report makes clear.

"As part of the EU and NATO, our country remains the object of systematic intelligence interest. In 2021, it is mainly aimed at: the policy and commitments of our country as a member of NATO and the EU; specifics of individual bilateral relations; current processes in the sector ‘Security’, including the rearmament and modernization of the Bulgarian army; processes and subjects in the domestic political sphere, especially in the context of the multiple elections in 2021; processes in the economic and social sphere; processes and sentiments in individual communities in Bulgaria; the current state of the Bulgarian communities abroad, etc.," the SANS report points out.

"Fulfilling the national priorities of their own governments, foreign special services continue to be engaged in actions to export to Bulgaria specific internal problems for the respective country", according to the report published on the page of the Council of Ministers.

As more significant results in countering risks and threats from the activity of foreign special services in 2021, the following can be indicated:

- intercepting the activities of a group of Bulgarian citizens who purposefully and consciously placed themselves at the service of the Russian Federation in order to serve it, as spies. Five persons were detained in the case. Charges have been brought by the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria within the framework of pre-trial proceedings under Art. 109 in connection with Art. 104, para. 1 of the Criminal Code (PC). In connection with this case, two Russian diplomats were declared persona non grata by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria;

- intercepting the activities of Russian citizens involved in the activities of the Russian special services on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria. In this case, the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria initiated pre-trial proceedings under Art. 108a of the Criminal Code ("terrorism"), in the context of which a Russian diplomat was declared persona non grata by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria;

- intercepting the activity of a Bulgarian citizen who has placed himself in the service of a foreign special service. The Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Bulgaria has initiated pre-trial proceedings under Art. 105, para. 1 of the Criminal Code ("espionage");

- inclusion in the array of foreigners who are not wanted on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria (art. 21a, para. 1 of the Law on foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria in connection with art. 1, para. 1, item 1) of 1 foreign citizen with a ban on entry in our country for a period of 10 years due to an activity creating a threat to national security.

The report also reports a threefold increase in migration pressure to Bulgaria compared to a year earlier.

The report on the activities of SANS has already been approved by the government and uploaded to the website of the Council of Ministers.

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