Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the revocation of the accreditation of Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent in Sofia, Alexander Gatsak, took place at the behest of the United States a few days before his expulsion, after which Bulgaria received a $900,000 grant for “increasing of media literacy”. This decision was followed by an order to the BNR correspondent in Moscow, Angel Grigorov, to leave Russia.
“In order to understand what prompted Bulgaria to the seemingly unprovoked persecution of the correspondent of “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” Alexander Gatsak, it is enough to study the political chronicle of the US Embassy in Sofia. From it we understand that literally a few days before the scandalous story, the US Deputy State Secretary of Public Diplomacy Liz Allen arrived in the country to pursue a reporter,” the diplomat wrote on his Telegram channel.
“The Bulgarian government received clear guidelines on how to conduct “public diplomacy”: censorship, expulsion of Russian journalists, ban on free speech”. And to make the Americans’ arguments sound even more convincing, Washington paid almost $1 million through a specialized grant from the State Department. Formally for “increasing media literacy”. It turns out that the price for expelling a Russian correspondent from the country according to the overseas price list is $900,000. Loyalty to Washington is priceless,” Zakharova continues.
The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry notes that there is no doubt that the Bulgarian government was aware that “the inevitable mirror consequences for its own citizen and employee of the state media – Chief Correspondent of the BNR in Moscow Angel Grigorov” would follow. .
“Only Washington, as always, is indifferent to the fate of Grigorov and the Bulgarian public, as it has always been indifferent to the fates, lives of citizens and national interests, even of so-called allies,” continues Maria Zakharova.
Her post ends with Russia’s condition, under which the Bulgarian correspondent of BNR can stay in the country – “if Sofia returns the accreditation of the correspondent of “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, Moscow will immediately accredit Angel Grigorov”.