MOSCOW, Nov 4. Before the expulsion of a Russian journalist from Bulgaria to The US Deputy Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy visited this country, local authorities received clear instructions on this topic, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in her Telegram channel.
“In order to understand what prompted Bulgaria to the seemingly unprovoked persecution of Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent Alexander Gatsak, it is enough just to study the political chronicle of the US Embassy in Sofia. From it we learn that literally a few days before the scandalous story “U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Liz Allen arrived in the country to persecute the reporter. The Bulgarian government received clear guidelines on how to conduct “public diplomacy”: censorship, expulsion of Russian journalists, ban on freedom of speech,” Zakharova wrote.
According to her, “to make the American’s arguments sound even more convincing, Washington paid almost a million dollars through a specialized grant from the State Department.”
“Formally – to “increase media literacy”. It turns out that the price for expelling a Russian correspondent from the country according to the overseas price list is 900 thousand dollars,” she noted.
According to her assumption, Sofia was aware of the inevitable mirror consequences for its own citizen and employee of the state media – chief correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio in Moscow Angel Grigorov.
“Only Washington is indifferent to the fate of Grigorov and the Bulgarian audience, as always, just as it has always been indifferent to the fates, lives of citizens and the national interests of even its so-called allies,” Zakharova believes.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported on October 31 that the publication's own correspondent, Alexander Gatsak, was going to be expelled from Bulgaria; the reasons for this decision were not announced. The journalist informed the management of Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the Russian Embassy in Sofia had received a notification from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry about the cancellation of his accreditation and about the upcoming extradition. In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia was revoking accreditation and expelling the chief correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio in Moscow.