BULGARIA has blocked a bank transfer of around $890,000 to the Russian embassy in Sofia due to EU sanctions, Finance Minister Asen Vasilev said today, days after Sofia expelled 70 members of Russian diplomatic staff from the Balkan country.
– It is a matter of a bank transfer to the Russian embassy, which falls directly under the sanctions of the European Commission, and not about freezing bank accounts, Vasilev told reporters, reports Reuters.
He added that the Russian embassy requested an exemption from the rules because it needs the funds to pay salaries to its employees. Vasilev also said that the Bulgarian government is currently holding talks with Brussels on whether to make an exception to allow the aforementioned money transfer.
Bulgaria, a member of the EU and NATO and once a close ally of Russia, has been rocked by diplomatic tensions after outgoing Prime Minister Kirill Petkov announced the expulsion of 70 members of Russian diplomatic staff for espionage.
Moscow said it would take retaliatory measures, and the Russian ambassador in Sofia said she would ask the Russian government to close the embassy.
The EU and other Western countries have imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on Russia over its military action in Ukraine.
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Source: Novosti.rs RSS – Današnje vesti by www.novosti.rs.
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