Bulgaria – An investigation into the role of six Russians in the bombings

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Bulgaria has linked four explosions between 2011 and 2020 with the survival of six Russian citizens.

The Bulgarian embassy in Moscow on April 20, 2021, after the Russian Foreign Ministry expelled two Bulgarian diplomats, after Sofia expelled two Russian diplomats over an alleged espionage network.

France Press agency

The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office announced, on Wednesday, that there was a link between four explosions that occurred between 2011 and 2020 in ammunition depots and the arrest of six Russian citizens, with the alleged aim of preventing deliveries to Ukraine and Georgia. “The reliable evidence that we have leads to the conclusion that the goal was to stop the deliveries” to these two countries, said the prosecution spokeswoman, Sika Mileva, at a press conference in Sofia. It added that the four explosions, so far unexplained, did not cause any injuries or injuries, and were detonated from a distance using a “similar” method of operation.

According to the same source, these deposits were all used by the Emco company of Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev, who was himself the victim of an attempt to poison his son and one of his company’s managers in April 2015. The judge stated that there were “very strong doubts” about the possibility of linking these various events. It also indicated a link to “serious crimes committed on the territory of other countries”, referring to the fatal explosion at a Czech weapons depot in 2014 and the attempt to poison former double agent Sergei Skripal in Novichok, UK. In 2018.

“Determining the existence of a Russian industry”

“We are cooperating with the Czech Republic to try to determine the existence of a Russian channel,” added Sika Mileva. Prague last week accused the Russian intelligence community of causing the 2014 explosion, which opened a diplomatic crisis with Moscow rejecting any accusation in this case.

After announcing the allegation, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador “for a meeting” on Thursday. “We will soon be accused of killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand,” the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov from Moscow said sarcastically, indicating that Sophia was trying to “compete” with Prague. He also called on the European Union to “consider the situation” in these two countries, where “businessmen from the private sector are involved in arms trade and ammunition storage.”

Tardiff

In a statement, AMCO, without responding directly to the investigative elements, accused the prosecution of activating it late, after “hiding the activities of Russian services for years.” According to Ukrainian military sources quoted by the Belengkat investigation site, this company “played a decisive role in strengthening Ukrainian defense capabilities when the territorial integrity of this country was threatened.” “EMCO was the only foreign supplier capable of supplying the Ukrainian military with ammunition” compatible with Soviet-era weapons, the site wrote on Monday.

In the Gebrev poisoning case, three Russians were indicted in absentia last year, including a Russian military intelligence officer, who was also considered a suspect in the attempted poisoning of Skripal.

(France Press agency)

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