Security Breach: Former Russian Ambassador Granted Bulgarian Citizenship!

Politics » DIPLOMACY | February 4, 2024, Sunday // 10:12
Bulgaria: Security Breach: Former Russian Ambassador Granted Bulgarian Citizenship!

A former Russian ambassador to Bulgaria has reportedly been granted Bulgarian citizenship following the conclusion of his diplomatic tenure, a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked concerns over national security. The unexpected development has been justified on the grounds of fostering socio-economic ties between Bulgaria and Russia.

Kristina Petkova, a Member of Parliament from "We Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria" and deputy chairman of DSB, disclosed the information during an interview with Nova TV. She highlighted that a legal loophole is being exploited, allowing individuals with no apparent connection to sports to acquire Bulgarian citizenship under the pretext of sports merits.

The deputy expressed particular concern over the lack of transparency and oversight, citing instances where Russian citizens, purportedly linked to the energy giant "Lukoil," gained Bulgarian citizenship without any discernible sports involvement. Notably, these individuals later assumed key roles in prominent Bulgarian companies, raising questions about the motives behind their citizenship acquisitions.

Petkova emphasized that the State Agency “National Security” (SANS) appears to be inadvertently facilitating this breach in national security. The exploitation of a provision intended for the development of sports, culture, science, and technology has become a smokescreen for the acquisition of Bulgarian citizenship by individuals with dubious connections.

One striking example is the case of a Russian ambassador's son, who reportedly also received Bulgarian citizenship due to one parent holding Bulgarian citizenship. The ambiguity surrounding the identities involved raises concerns about potential Russian influence penetrating Bulgaria's socio-political landscape.

The ambassador in question is H.E. Anatoly Potapov, who was Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria between 2004 and 2008.

The deputy urged for a thorough investigation into the matter, highlighting the urgency of addressing this apparent vulnerability in Bulgaria's citizenship acquisition system. The broader implication of foreign nationals, particularly those with ties to Russia, obtaining Bulgarian citizenship through unconventional channels poses a potential threat to the country's sovereignty and security.

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Tags: Bulgarian, citizenship, Russian, ambassador

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