The day in 3 news: National Security Agency gets new head, Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnector in new delay, Russia fires another diplomat

Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the launch of the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector in 2019

The day in 3 news: National Security Agency gets new head, Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnector in new delay, Russia fires another diplomat

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Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov at the launch of the construction of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector in 2019

© Council of Ministers


Wednesday's news was dominated by key personnel changes to state administration, as decided by the caretaker government. One such move would entail the substitution of the entire audit committee of the Bulgarian Development Bank by Economy Minister Kiril Petkov. The names of new members have not yet been released but the Ministry announced that they all have international experience and are proven experts in the spheres of credit institutions' control and fiscal transparency. Another change received more attention:

Gov't to dismiss National Security Agency head

The caretaker cabinet of Prime Minister Stefan Yanev announced on Wednesday that it has terminated the mandate of the head of the National Security Agency (DANS) Dimitar Georgiev short, and nominated Plamen Tochev, a senior official in the agency, as his replacement. The formal reason for his early dismissal was the allegation that DANS, alongside two other special services, had wiretapped 32 opposition leaders in the months leading up to April's elections. "With his politically-motivated actions this president [of DANS] has created a precedent that hurt the image of the institution and went against its basic principle - to be a depoliticised service," Mr Yanev said.

Mr Georgiev and former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov called the move a retribution for the successful operation that exposed a Russian spy network in the Defense Ministry in March.

Gas connection between Bulgaria and Greece postponed until June 2022

The gas Interconnector Greece - Bulgaria (IGB), first due to be completed by April 2021, and then by the year's end, according to pre-election promises made by Borissov, is seriously delayed. It is not now expected to be completed before 30 June 2022, State Agency of Energy Regulation head Ivan Ivanov said on Wednesday. The connection is supposed to deliver the 1 billion cubic meters of gas from the Azeri SOCAR company.

The pipe is due to have an annual capacity of 3 billion cubic metres and had been planned to be an integral part of the EU-sponsored Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) to bring Azeri natural gas to Europe. Its construction has been planned for over a decade, but it has received little support from Bulgaria's authorities - unlike the Russian-sponsored TurkStream pipeline.

Another Bulgarian diplomat dismissed by Russia

Moscow announced on Wednesday that it has expelled another member of the Bulgarian diplomatic corps in Russia in retaliation for the Bulgarian dismissal of a Russian diplomat on 29 April. Sofia had earlier expelled a defense secretary of the Russian embassy in the country for allegedly facilitating sabotage operations in several arms and munition production and storage facilities over the previous decade.

Wednesday's news was dominated by key personnel changes to state administration, as decided by the caretaker government. One such move would entail the substitution of the entire audit committee of the Bulgarian Development Bank by Economy Minister Kiril Petkov. The names of new members have not yet been released but the Ministry announced that they all have international experience and are proven experts in the spheres of credit institutions' control and fiscal transparency. Another change received more attention:

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