Over the weekend, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov summoned the Russian ambassador to Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova and reprimanded her for a Facebook post describing Bulgarians as "Euro-Atlantic bedpans" (an offensive euphemism for "minions'' in Bulgarian). He called for all staff in the Russian Embassy who are "not occupied with diplomatic activities" to be sent back to Russia, referring to the alleged spies exposed by the Bulgarian prosecution last week.
So far, the Bulgarian Border Guard has counted 25,000 Ukrainian citizens entering the country seeking shelter since the war erupted on 24 February. In other news:
Russia adds Bulgaria to "unfriendly countries" blacklist
Bulgaria, alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and all other European Union countries have been blacklisted by the Kremlin for taking "unfriendly actions" against Russia. All countries that imposed sanctions against Moscow in the past two weeks since the start of the Ukraine invasion were put on the list. All Russian citizens and companies, the state itself as well as its regions and municipalities, which have financial obligations to countries on the list (above 10 mln rubles or its equivalent in a foreign currency) will now have to pay them in Russian rubles.
National Bank announces first auction for 2022, seeks to place 500 mln BGN in securities
On 14 March, the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) will hold its first auction for the sale of government securities (T-bills) this year. The nominal value of the amount offered by the Ministry of Finance is 500 mln BGN at a 0.00% annual interest rate, the central bank said. The interest-bearing treasury bonds have a maturity of three years and six months (1277 days) of open-ended type with fixed interest rate. This year the state will seek a total of 7.3 billion BGN on the international debt markets.
State imposes informal ban on grain exports until it buys off 1.5 mln tons for the reserve
After Finance Minister Assen Vassilev's announcement last week that the state planned to increase its grain reserves and buy grain from local producers to secure domestic needs for at least a year ahead, Bulgarian producers complained of an informal ban on exports imposed through administrative obstacles. Last week, state authorities announced plans to buy about 1.5 million tons of wheat, half of what is currently in stock in the country.