Home Nonmilitary action Bulgaria has stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists and property owners

Bulgaria has stopped issuing visas to Russian tourists and property owners


The Bulgarian consulate in Moscow has suspended the acceptance of documents for tourist visas and visas for landlords “due to an emergency situation”. As the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) notes, the decision is called temporary, however, the date of resuming reception is unknown.

As a reason, the country’s diplomatic mission cited Moscow’s announcement of the personami non grata of 14 employees of the diplomatic mission and consular institutions of Bulgaria in Russia. In turn, this measure was a response to Sofia’s decision to expel 70 Russian diplomats and technical staff from Russian diplomatic missions, including Russian consul generals in Varna and Ruse.

A staff shortage has affected the work of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria and the Russian Consulate General in Varna. The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in Ruse has suspended its work. The Consulate General of Bulgaria in Yekaterinburg is also temporarily closed.

Bulgarian visa centers in Moscow, Yekaterinburg and St. Petersburg for “technical reasons” do not accept applications with payment of consular fees from March 25. Russian citizens were advised to contact the Consulate General of Bulgaria. Now the Russians don’t even have that option.

On June 28, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov announced the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats who allegedly worked for Russian special services, using diplomatic activity as a cover. In response, Moscow threatened to completely sever diplomatic relations with Sofia. The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Sofia, Eleonora Mitrofanova, demanded the cancellation of this decision before July 1. Petkov refused to respond to the ultimatum.

After that, Bulgaria’s finance ministry blocked $890,000 from the accounts of the Russian embassy in Sofia, citing the move as the need to comply with EU sanctions.