The Bulgarian accused of espionage for Russia: They do not have a single fact
The Bulgarian accused of espionage for Russia: They do not have a single fact

Nikolai Malinov, accused of espionage by the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, is currently in Moscow, where he is holding a number of meetings. The leader of the “Russophiles” movement was accused of putting himself in the service of a foreign organization to serve as a spy in order to divulge information that was a state secret.

Nikolai Malinov is currently in Moscow. He is adamant that there is no evidence against him.

“Once we play cards, fine. We’ll see what they bet on. All they have are bare accusations, without a single fact. I’ve never had access to classified information in my life so I can get it. “Somewhere to pass it on to someone. My positions have always been public. In front of all the media, after I was released from prison, they said that I would continue to do what I do. And I am adamant that this is right for Bulgaria,” Malinov said. in front of the Bulgarian New Television.

“The protections and defenses in the courtroom rely only on the lawyer. I will have a number of meetings today. I am currently at my hotel in the center of Moscow. I will meet with the head of the fourth department at the Foreign Ministry, who is in charge of the Balkans, as well as with Senator Klimov. We will discuss our party cooperation with him. Afterwards, I will meet with the director of the Kremlin’s foreign policy department. In the evening I will have dinner with Gavrailov and Baburin “, explained the leader of “Russophiles”.

He stressed that the Double-Headed Eagle is a non-governmental organization and that a precedent would be set in world law.

“Spying for an NGO – such a case will be the first in the world. In Bulgaria there was a similar case in the distant 1978 and failed. Vladimir Putin’s Institute for Strategic Studies is officially engaged in analyzing the situation throughout “I’m glad to go to court,” the “Russophiles” leader said.

Two years later, the investigation against Malinov entered court. He will be tried for “putting himself in the service of a foreign organization to serve as a spy” in order to divulge a state secret. The spy saga began in 2019, when Malinov was accused of espionage and arrested. He was later released on bail. It was then that another scandal erupted because footage of Malinov and Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared. It turned out that the then chairman of the “Russophiles” Association had received permission to leave the country and thus went to Russia, where Putin presented him with an order.

Gypsies from Bulgaria have been arrested for exploiting children in Thessaloniki
Gypsies from Bulgaria have been arrested for exploiting children in Thessaloniki

Eight Bulgarian Roma were arrested in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on 18th of June and accused by a prosecutor of exploiting their children and endangering them, Kathimerini’s online edition reported.

According to the accusations, they forced the children to beg on the streets of Thessaloniki, look for food in the garbage and used their profits to gamble in a casino in Bulgaria. The arrests came after a four-month investigation by the city’s organized crime unit.

The case involves the exploitation of eight children under the age of 11.

Earlier this year, a group for human trafficking from Bulgaria to France was broken up.

The specialized prosecutor’s office monitored pre-trial proceedings against a criminal association operating in Bulgaria and abroad. The purpose of the association, in addition to self-interest, is to coordinate the commission of crimes in the country – under Article 159b of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment for more than three years, according to the prosecutor’s office (prb.bg).

In the course of the investigation, the Ministry of Interior – Directorate for International Cooperation, received information that the authorities in France have in the meantime established the existence of an illegal settlement with about 150 inhabitants, self-accommodated in temporary buildings in the area of ​​the stadium “Municipal” in Toulouse. They were engaged in begging.

In the framework of international cooperation, the Bulgarian authorities have been informed that an organized criminal group has been established in Paris, dealing with trafficking of Bulgarian citizens to France for the purpose of begging, which will take place in the city of Toulouse. In this regard, the French police detained ten Bulgarian citizens on suspicion of organizing and exploiting other Bulgarians who, after coercion, begged on the streets of Toulouse.

More than 30 Bulgarian citizens residing on the territory of France, who have become victims of the criminal group, have been identified in the case. Most of them were people with physical disabilities, and their recruitment was carried out on the territory of Bulgaria. The victims are mostly from villages in the municipalities of Dolni Dabnik and Iskar, Northern Bulgaria.

In the case of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office, evidence was also collected for committed secondary crimes – recruitment and transportation of individuals in order to be used for sexual exploitation.

From the evidence gathered in the case conducted in France, it is established the complicity of five persons – Bulgarian citizens, to whom in the investigation of the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office there was evidence of their participation in an organized criminal group engaged in trafficking and exploitation of persons for begging. Bulgaria for France in the period from 2015 to the present. In the conditions of art. 479 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the pre-trial proceedings were transferred to France, where the persons were convicted by the court in Toulouse.

BORISOV’S RETURN TO EUROPE PASSES THROUGH SKOPJE
BORISOV’S RETURN TO EUROPE PASSES THROUGH SKOPJE

The former Prime Minister of Bulgaria sees a chance to please our Western partners by reversing his current position on Northern Macedonia

Boyko Borissov loves to speak in public about his exploits on the international stage. The former Bulgarian Prime Minister has always perceived the favor of foreign heads of state as the supreme recognition of his state success. That is why he continues to brag: “For the last 4 years, while we ruled, Bulgaria was the favorite in the Balkans.”

In such cases, the GERB leader usually prefers to speak in a general and bombastic manner. That is why he noticed how often and abundantly he has been focusing on Northern Macedonia lately. Bulgaria’s relations with its southwestern neighbor have been extremely strained since Borissov’s government refused to allow it to start EU membership talks in November 2020. The stumbling block was the common history of the two countries, the content and interpretation of which we still cannot understand. Sofia’s position remained unchanged after power passed to President Rumen Radev’s office. And right now Borisov suddenly spoke in a completely different way.

The change was clearly seen in one of his long monologues on a meeting with party Komsomol members on June 13. “Radev divided the state in everything. Now they have divided the people on the topic of Northern Macedonia. Which is better – to have a neighbor member of the EU and NATO, or not? “, Asked the former prime minister. He continued: “Imagine, you are Macedonians, and your neighbors, your closest people, say: you will not go to the EU, you will not go there. Will they love you? … History is an important thing. But let the historians do the work. You now with this position: we, we, we, create such enmity that generations can be hated. “

He spoke in the same vein with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at their June 17th meeting. Borissov was the first to meet him on Bulgarian soil and attacked Radev’s cabinet in front of him: “… the current caretaker government has all the rights and can negotiate with you – it can sign a new contract, do whatever it wants. But they will run away from responsibility because they always do. At the same time, Euro-Atlantic partners are lying that they are “in favor” of Northern Macedonia joining the EU. ” And the next day he appeared at a GERB briefing, at which he declared: “We as politicians must find a compromise.”

The turn made by the leader of GERB is simply amazing. It was his government that blocked the start of negotiations between Skopje and Brussels on the grounds that the good-neighborly agreement it concluded with Northern Macedonia in 2017 was not being respected. Borissov divided the “Macedonian question” between two of his deputy prime ministers, Krassimir Karakachanov and Ekaterina Zaharieva. Well, would anyone seriously expect compromises and progress in the talks with Skopje, when among the leading figures on the Bulgarian side is the leader of IMRO Karakachanov, whose ideology is based mainly on the fight against Macedonianism?

And Zaharieva, then foreign minister, was apparently instructed by Borissov to pursue a more aggressive course in Bulgarian diplomacy. This is how she came to her interview with the German newspaper Die Welt against the Macedonian authorities: “They were also quite brutal to me when I dared to criticize the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the death of one of the darkest dictators – Tito … it’s like the mayor of Berlin proposing to celebrate Hitler’s death. ” and more. In general, anyone who wanted to crush the Macedonians in our country made his dream come true thanks to Borissov’s government.

The cabinet practically did not change the policy of its predecessors towards Northern Macedonia. Radev’s people refused to change the position of our country before Portugal, which leads the rotating EU presidency, and before the European Commission. We even quarreled with the Croats over their pro-Macedonian president. And Zoran Zaev, who arrived in Sofia on June 17th in the hope of influencing the new government, was forced to leave empty-handed. And just at that moment, Boyko Borissov began to appear from everywhere – for weeks now they have been hot about the divisions between nations, the ruined future of the young people on both sides and the Euro-Atlantic allies deceived by Radev.

And isn’t the GERB boss most excited about the latter – what do our Western partners think about it? Let us not forget that the European integration of Northern Macedonia (which comes in a package with Albania) has become a priority issue for European diplomats since November 2020. In practice, there is no meeting between representatives of our Foreign Ministry and another member state, which is not affected by the case. It cannot be otherwise – this is the next wave of European enlargement. And this wave broke precisely in Borissov’s government – this is how Europe and the world saw things.

However, now that he is out of power, the former prime minister has the opportunity not to follow the interests of the state, but only his own political gain. And this benefit currently dictates that he maintain behavior that is the exact opposite of his course as head of government. For him, this is a chance: first of all, to return to the lights of international politics by intervening in a case of European magnitude; secondly, to suggest that, unlike Radev and his cabinet, he is a supporter of the cause of EU enlargement and thus stands on the side of the great Western countries and the European Commission. To please them even more, nothing can say that we need to get Northern Macedonia into the Euroclub faster because of the Russian influence in the Balkans.

In fact, if GERB returns to the helm of the state tomorrow, it will most likely change its foreign policy course again. Do you notice how vague Borissov really is now? He is outraged that the caretaker government is hindering its neighbors’ European integration, but does not say anything specific about what it would have done differently if his party had ruled.

Thus, it leaves a loophole again – in case it has to turn once again if GERB enters the government again. And it will not be difficult for him – the largest political forces in our country (except perhaps the Movement for rights and freedoms – MRF) remain uncompromising against the demands of Skopje. And Borisov will be able to calmly say: I want one thing, but they force me something else. However, we will know what game he is actually playing.

Albanian Prime Minister to Zaev: I hope they will not want to call you Western Bulgaria
Albanian Prime Minister to Zaev: I hope they will not want to call you Western Bulgaria

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama made a joking comment on the dispute between Sofia and Skopje during a joint press conference after meeting with Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev at the Economic Forum in Northern Macedonia, the Sloboden Pechat newspaper reported.

“Everyone has the right to feel completely disappointed, because suddenly Bulgaria appears now and wants something more. I told Zoran Zaev that I hope they will not want to call you Western Bulgaria, because then you will have to negotiate with the Greeks again.” , Rama said on the occasion of Sofia’s repeated suspension of Skopje’s EU talks.

The topic of Albania’s and northern Macedonia’s EU talks was a major one during the press conference, and while he did not hide his disappointment with the veto, which also affects Tirana, Rama has repeatedly approached the situation with a sense of humor.

According to the Albanian Prime Minister, the postponement of the talks again is a failure of the EU, not of Albania and Northern Macedonia, which, even if they are not part of the community, are part of Europe.

“We are too young to live isolated from each other, too young to look for the future for our children, but we can do it together. We are not the ones who failed, they failed. They have their reasons and I understand that this is their home and we want to enter this house, “said Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

“We are Europeans without the EU, we are not the EU, but we are still Europe. The only problem is that they could still say ‘we love you, we want you to be inside, but there are some things we have to solve first. Your premises, your rooms are not ready yet, “said the Albanian Prime Minister.

He compared the EU to a lover who says “I love you” but is not ready for marriage, saying he and Zaev are good readers of Samuel Beckett and can wait, referring to the play “Waiting for Godot”, but noted that instead of just sitting there, the two countries will be active on their way to the EU, implementing European values.

For his part, Zaev said the veto could be unfair to northern Macedonia, but even more unfair to Albania.

And Portugal raised its hands: The time has not come for N. Macedonia to join the EU –

The Portuguese presidency of the Council of the EU has done its utmost to reach a decision on the start of accession talks with Albania and Northern Macedonia. This was stated by the representative of the presidency Anna Zakariash after a meeting of the EU Council for General Affairs in Luxembourg, the BTA correspondent in Brussels reported.

We understand the difficult political situation in which Bulgaria and the Republic of Northern Macedonia (RSM) are today. The time has not yet come, she added, pointing out that a generally acceptable solution must be found.

“We encourage the Slovenian presidency to continue our efforts, not to lose momentum and to use the proposals already made. We hope to hold talks with Skopje and Tirana as soon as possible,” Zakarias said.

Earlier, the Bulgarian representative at the meeting, the acting Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Rumen Alexandrov, confirmed that the opinion of the National Assembly from 2019 regarding the PCM remains in force. He noted that Bulgaria expects Skopje to fulfill its commitments earlier this month – renunciation of territorial, minority and historical claims to Bulgaria, change of inscriptions inciting hatred towards Bulgaria in the RSM, rehabilitation of victims of Yugoslav communism, victims of his Bulgarian self-consciousness.

Bulgaria insists that the implementation of the neighborhood agreement by Skopje be included among the conditions in the future negotiating framework, Alexandrov said. Bulgaria today again supported the negotiating framework with Albania and noted Tirana’s progress on European reforms.

Bulgaria retains its veto on RN Macedonia

A change in Bulgaria’s position regarding its veto of northern Macedonia is not expected, Bulgarian National Radio reported, citing its own source.

The issue of starting EU accession talks between Northern Macedonia and Albania is being discussed at the ongoing General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, which began this morning.

Bulgaria remains in the position that there is no progress in our western neighbor in the implementation of the agreement on good neighborly relations as a whole.

We remind you that the Prime Minister of RN Macedonia Zoran Zaev and a government delegation visited Sofia on June 17th and 18th. Zaev is already talking to BSP leader Cornelia Ninova. During his meeting with the Macedonian Prime Minister, the Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Stefan Yanev insisted on an open dialogue. They agreed with President Rumen Radev on 50,000 vaccines for Bulgaria to give to RN Macedonia.

Diplomat Stefan Tafrov described the meeting between Zoran Zaev and GERB leader Boyko Borissov as an attempt to use it for narrow party purposes.

A day before his visit to the Bulgarian capital, Zaev explained that no talks on the Macedonian language and identity would be held here during his visit.

We remind you that on June 11, 2021, after the last meeting of the Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission on Historical and Educational Issues with the Republic of Northern Macedonia, its chairman from the Bulgarian side, Prof. Angel Dimitrov, announced another failure. “The last hours have shown that it is difficult to reach an understanding for a text about Gotse Delchev,” said Angel Dimitrov.

At the previous meeting of the commission, a remark by Bulgarian historians about the textbooks in the RNM was blocked, in which the time and personality of Tsar Samuel were treated. According to Angel Dimitrov, the approach of Macedonian historians is a manifesto of a reluctance to change anything in the interpretation of the past.

The Joint Multidisciplinary Expert Commission on Historical and Educational Issues of Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia was established as a result of the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Macedonia, signed on August 1, 2017 and entered into force on February 14, 2018, and aimed to settle the contradictions between the two sides over a common history. As early as 2019, the then Deputy Prime Minister and leader of IMRO, Krassimir Karakachanov, warned that the talks were going on, but that no compromise could be made.

In general, the negative findings of failure are repeated after each of the meetings, as the talks were interrupted before the elections in the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which took place last year. At the same time, both the ruling and the opposition in Northern Macedonia expressed a number of hopes that after the change of power in our country there would be a reversal in our position and the veto imposed by Bulgaria on the negotiating framework for EU membership of RNM and Albania.

At the same time, attempts at influence from a number of EU member states are increasing, with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaking at a virtual meeting of the Berlin Foreign Minister.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama also paid a two-day visit to Bulgaria last week.

Without a signed document: Zoran Zaev surprisingly left Sofia
Without a signed document: Zoran Zaev surprisingly left Sofia

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Northern Macedonia Zoran Zaev will participate today in the summit of the Western Balkans in Vienna, informs the Skopje TV channel “TV 21”.

Zaev surprisingly left Sofia early in the morning, Epicenter.bg added, although he was expected to continue his visit to Bulgaria today and to sign a document with Radev’s caretaker government on relations between the two countries.

Zaev: “Any talk about the future of Europe without the Western Balkans is meaningless.”

Last night, Zaev had a second meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Yanev, according to whom it became known yesterday that the Macedonian Prime Minister had come to Sofia with a specific proposal in connection with the start of negotiations on Skopje’s accession to the EU. Talks with the Bulgarian government continued until late last night. The point of conflict in the negotiations was Zaev’s insistence on Bulgaria’s official recognition that documents between the two countries are signed in “Macedonian”.

Sofia rejects this wording and insists on the expression “official language of PCM”, as enshrined in the 2017 Treaty.