Bulgaria charged the head of a pro-Russian civil-society group with espionage, alleging he supplied information to help shift the Balkan nation’s geopolitical trajectory.
The move could complicate ties between the two countries, which have remained cordial — particularly in the
energy sector — despite Bulgaria’s membership of the European Union and NATO.
In a possible sign of tougher rhetoric before local elections in October, Bulgaria criticised the Kremlin over remarks about World War II.
While he didn’t reveal any state secrets, prosecutors in Sofia said that Nikolay Malinov, chairman of the National
Russophile Movement, faces as long as 15 years in prison for passing information to a
research institute and a non-governmental organisation in Russia.
Documents written by Malinov in Russian propose switching Bulgaria’s geopolitical course from “the Western world towards the Russian Federation,” including by transferring key private assets to Russian ownership, creating a TV channel and a political party, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev said.