Bulgaria summons Russian envoy over warrant for journalist

Dec 28, 2022, 4:39 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 7:11 am

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Bulgarian foreign ministry on Thursday summoned Russia’s ambassador to explain why Moscow has placed a Bulgarian journalist working for an international investigative website on a list of wanted persons.

Christo Grozev, the leading Bellingcat researcher on Russia, who carried out investigations into the poisonings of opposition politician Alexey Navalny and former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, has focused this year on alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Galab Donev said Thursday that his country has not been informed through official channels by Russia about any charges brought against Grozev.

“This act is unacceptable … it constitutes an encroachment on the freedom of speech and an attempt to intimidate a Bulgarian citizen,” he said.

Grozev, who doesn’t share his location for security reasons, said in a tweet on Monday that he had no idea on what grounds the Kremlin has put him on its “wanted list” and added: “In a way it doesn’t matter — for years they’ve made it clear they are scared of our work and would stop at nothing to make it go away.”

Speaking to local TV channels by video link from an undisclosed location, Grozev expressed fear for his and his family’s life, and said that he expects support from the Bulgarian state.

He said he has already been offered help by several European countries, including Austria, where he has been living in the last decade.

Grozev said that in the last couple of years he and his colleagues from Bellingcat have travelled “with last-minute ticket purchases so that it is not easy to find out where we are going and what we are investigating.” Now, he added, “we have to avoid getting into the territory of a country that might do the Kremlin a favor.”

Thursday’s move to summon the Russian ambassador came after the main parties in Bulgaria’s parliament called for support for Grozev.

Once the Soviet Union’s closest ally, Bulgaria is now a European Union and NATO member and has strongly backed Western sanctions against Moscow over its war on Ukraine.

In late April, Russia cut off gas supplies to Bulgaria after officials refused a Moscow demand to pay gas bills in rubles, Russia’s currency.

Two months later, Bulgaria expelled 70 Russian diplomatic staff and their families. The mass expulsion, one of the biggest in Europe, sent tensions soaring between the historically close nations.

Bulgaria’s expulsion decision was announced by then-Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, who took a strong stance against Russia after it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Petkov, who eventually lost a no-confidence vote, claimed Moscow had used “hybrid war” tactics to bring down his government.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - A staff of Nissan car showroom wipes a car on Jan. 31, 2022, in Tokyo. Nissan reported a 55%...
Associated Press

Japan’s Nissan reports better profit as chip crunch eases

TOKYO (AP) — Nissan reported a 55% jump in October-December profit Thursday, as the Japanese automaker seeks to embark on a less bumpy journey with its French alliance partner Renault. Profit for the quarter at Yokohama-based Nissan Motor Co. totaled 50.6 billion yen ($386 million), up from 32.7 billion yen the previous year. Quarterly sales […]
1 day ago
Search teams and emergency aid from around the world are pouring into
Turkey and Syria as rescuers ...
Associated Press

Afghan women, children chase false rumor to Kabul airport

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Hundreds of Afghans, including women and children, dashed toward the Kabul airport after a false rumor spread that flights were leaving for Turkey to help rescue earthquake victims. Videos and photos posted on social media since Wednesday showed dozens of desperate people running on foot in the darkness and cold towards the […]
1 day ago
People warm up with fire in front of destroyed buildings in Antakya, southern Turkey, Wednesday, Fe...
Associated Press

Live Updates I Turkish president to visit quake-hit areas

Rescuers pulled more survivors from beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings Thursday, but hopes were starting to fade of finding many more people alive more than three days after a catastrophic earthquake and series of aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria, killing more than 16,000. The earthquake that razed thousands of buildings in Turkey and Syria […]
1 day ago
FILE - Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning gestures during a press conference at the Min...
Associated Press

Beijing calls US claims over balloons ‘information warfare’

BEIJING (AP) — China on Thursday said U.S. accusations that a downed Chinese balloon was part of an extensive surveillance program amount to “information warfare against China.” The Pentagon on Wednesday said the Chinese balloon shot down off the South Carolina coast Saturday was part of a program involving a number of such airships that […]
1 day ago
A worker stretches the Ukrainian flag before Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrival at the...
Associated Press

Zelenskyy wraps up European tour with visit to EU summit

BRUSSELS (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is wrapping up a whirlwind tour of his major European backers, already heading home with heaps of goodwill, promises of more military aid and, as hardware goes, France’s highest medal of honor. The European Union’s 27 leaders were awaiting the man in khaki in Brussels on Thursday, hoping […]
1 day ago
Heavy machinery moves coal as it is poured onto a stack near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, Aus...
Associated Press

Australia rejects new coal mine on environmental grounds

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has for the first time rejected a coal mining application based on environmental law. The government is under pressure to curb climate change by blocking all new coal and gas extraction projects. Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of both fossil fuels, which are major sources of the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Bulgaria summons Russian envoy over warrant for journalist