Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry has recalled 13 ambassadors to their homeland. As reported by Bulgarian media quoted representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the decision is dictated by the fact that diplomats recalled in the past collaborated with the secret police of communist Bulgaria. It is reported that the number of recalled hit and Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Bulgaria to Belarus Zachary Mitev Radukov.
In December, a special commission has published a list of more than 190 names of diplomats, who were said to have worked in the past or have collaborated with the secret services of the People's Republic of Bulgaria.
Liberty responds to questions former diplomat and international journalist Michael Botian.
Znatkevich: As far as the diplomatic practice, this is a common phenomenon — when, after the change of political regime is, so to speak, diplomatic cleaning those who collaborated with the secret police?
Botian: I am absolutely convinced that each country uses diplomatic "cover" for its security services. I'm not talking about international journalists, etc. So for me, this is not something new. It is not known, as we have this happen, but is also likely to be someone to clean, I have no doubt.
Znatkevich: It would be good to do something like that in Belarus?
Botian: Despite what it looks like when a man really was some kind of enemy of his country — is one thing, and another thing — when a person even if it was in the special services, but served his country, even under this roof — so why not? When he defended the interests of his country …
Znatkevich: It is clear that at all times diplomatic services have been used as a cover for espionage, but as far as it is assumed that security officials are themselves ambassadors?
Botian: That is very disturbing. After all, even in the Soviet era secret service could work other third parties, but I think that after the sending special forces — have not had to reach.
Znatkevich: In a time when you worked in the Foreign Ministry of Belarus, with your work, from conversations with colleagues — the extent to which cooperation with intelligence agencies expanded among Belarusian diplomats, the extent to which diplomats beware that the security services were being watched?
Botian: I must say that I have never collaborated with the secret police. I would suspect that someone, probably refers to them — perhaps the consul … Especially when I worked in Poland as a correspondent for Komsomolskaya Pravda — I was convinced that the vice-consul is a member of the special services, although no one I did not mention it.
Znatkevich: Do you follow the current trials for Square?
Botian: I watch, and I'm very hurt. I have people close to retirement age, not afraid of anyone, so I will say I am very sorry for what is happening. I once worked with Sannikov in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I know that this is a very smart man, and when I look at this "mess", I just can not …
Znatkevich: Trial against Sannikov — as far as you seem credible allegations: the man who was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is organizing mass disorder — that is, acts of violence?
Botian: Absolutely unbelievable. This is a noble, interesting, intelligent man whom I respect, appreciate, he came to me in Vienna, when I worked there adviser of the Belarusian Embassy. I even collected signatures for him, and for 13 nights gathered 400 signatures. People are willing to sign, and with whom I have spoken — maybe only 10-15% have been on the side of the authorities. These were ordinary houses in the Robin, and there is only one I have not seen! Lieutenant Colonel — and he was against it. And because I spent my own case study, I am convinced that we, unfortunately, illegitimate power.
Znatkevich: It is believed that the release of those who are now on trial, can only be under pressure in Europe. From your experience: how the Belarusian authorities respond to diplomatic pressure?
Botian: I think that the way to escape burned, and the Belarusian authorities cut off the road to its contacts with Europe. When I look at the current situation, including the currency, I was filled with horror, what will happen to us, where we're going …