Bulgaria blocked bank transfer to Russian embassy citing EU sanctions

A view of the Russian embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria April 29, 2021. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

SOFIA, July 6 (Reuters) – Bulgaria has blocked a bank transfer worth around $890,000 to the Russian embassy because of EU sanctions, Finance Minister Assen Vasilyev said on Wednesday, a few days after Sofia expelled 70 Russian diplomatic staff from the Balkan country would have.

“There is a bank transfer to the Russian embassy that falls directly under the sanctions of the European Commission. There are no frozen bank accounts,” Vassilev told reporters.

Vasilyev said the Russian embassy requested an exemption because the funds were needed to pay staff salaries. He said the Bulgarian government is currently in talks with Brussels over whether to lift sanctions to allow the transfer.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

Bulgaria, an EU and NATO member state and once a close ally of Russia, has been rocked by diplomatic tensions after outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov announced the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomatic staff over espionage concerns. Continue reading

Moscow has announced it will retaliate in kind, while the Russian ambassador in Sofia has said she will ask the Russian government to close the embassy. Continue reading

The EU and other Western countries have imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

Sign up now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com

to register

Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

About admin

Check Also

Jews from North Macedonia condemn naming of Bulgarian club after ‘collaborator’ king

A statue depicting the deportation of Jews in front of the Holocaust Museum in Skopje, …