Austria's Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner, has announced that Austria will adopt a cautious approach towards Bulgaria's full accession to the Schengen area
Bulgaria Suspends Visas for Russians with Property in Bulgaria and for Tourists from Russia
Bulgaria will stop accepting documents for tourist visas for citizens of Russia, RIA Novosti reported, citing the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR). The measure applies to both tourists and property owners in Bulgaria.
"According to the tour operators, the Bulgarian consulate in Moscow has notified them of the temporary suspension of accepting documents for tourist visas, as well as for visas for property owners, 'in view of the emergency situation that has arisen,'" says the announcement of our diplomatic representation.
Our consulate in Moscow explained to the Russians that the reason for the suspension of visas was the declaration on August 5 of 14 employees of the diplomatic missions and consular services of Bulgaria in Russia as persona non grata.
"This step on the part of the Russian side is a response to the decision of the Bulgarian authorities to expel 70 Russian diplomats and technical staff of the Russian diplomatic departments, including the Russian consuls general in Varna and Ruse," commented ATOR.
The association also specified that due to a lack of employees, the consular service of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria and the Consulate General in Varna have partially suspended their work. In addition, the Consulate General of Russia in Ruse has suspended operations. The Consulate General of Bulgaria in Yekaterinburg is also temporarily closed.
The association notes that it is not known how long the pause in the visa process will last. "Sources of the ATOR newspaper report that the Bulgarian side will look for opportunities to renew the issuance of visas in Russia," ATOR added.
Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry notified Bulgarian Ambassador Atanas Krastin about Moscow's response to the restrictions on the work of Russian diplomatic institutions in Bulgaria. 14 employees of the embassy and consular services of Bulgaria in Russia have been declared "persona non grata". Previously, Sofia announced that it imposed similar measures against 70 employees of Russian institutions abroad, to whom the Bulgarian authorities attribute work for the special services under the guise of diplomatic activity.
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