Bulgaria: Proposal to impose sanctions to counter Russian influence

A group of fifteen Bulgarian MPs, including well-known individuals like Nadezhda Yordanova and Ivaylo Mirchev, have presented a draft bill to the National Assembly with the goal of countering Russian influence in Bulgaria. 

By filling a significant legal vacuum, the proposed bill aims to permit the use of international sanctions in Bulgaria, Novinite reported.

The initiative is a reaction to long-standing worries about Bulgarian laws not keeping up with international sanctions, especially those the European Union has placed on Russian individuals and organizations. Bulgaria has struggled to implement the sanctions, imposed as early as 2014 in response to the annexation of Crimea, due to inconsistent laws.

MPs Yordanova and Mirchev are leading the proposed bill, which aims to address this issue by setting clear guidelines for Bulgaria’s participation in the adoption and application of international sanctions.

The document suggests setting up a public list of sanctioned individuals for transparency and accountability, and it describes the processes for providing permits exempting specific people or companies from the consequences of these restrictions.

Key elements of the proposed legislation designate as competent authorities responsible for enacting international sanctions, Bulgarian ministries of foreign affairs, economy, justice, and culture. It also discusses the necessity of coordinating with global institutions like the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the United Nations Security Council.

Recent events, notably Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its attempts to expand its influence in Bulgaria through strategic acquisitions like the “Kamchia” sanatorium-recuperation complex near Varna, have highlighted the significance of this legislative initiative. The City of Moscow owns the property, which has sparked worries about Russian disinformation and corruption on Bulgarian territory.

In light of the growing geopolitical tensions in the Black Sea region, the proposed bill is an essential step toward preserving Bulgaria’s sovereignty and national interests, the report said. Bulgaria seeks to safeguard its security and democracy while making a strong statement against foreign meddling by joining global efforts to impose penalties on bad actors.

The proposed law’s supporters are unwavering in their resolve to strengthen Bulgaria’s defenses against outside threats and make sure that international standards of accountability and openness are followed. The bill will be reviewed by the Bulgarian parliament.

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