Twelve of the 21 directorate heads at Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs formerly collaborated with the country’s communist-era secret service State Security, according to a report by daily Trud.
This is a sign of the rolling back by the current Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) government, and the 38-year-old former MEP who is now foreign minister, Kristian Vigenin, of the policy of its centre-right predecessor in government to clear the ministry’s top posts of former State Security agents and collaborators.
The BSP came to power in May after it was handed a mandate to form a government even though it had run second in the parliamentary election. Centre-right GERB, in power from 2009 to 2013, got the largest single share of votes but found itself in a Parliament in which it had no allies with which to form a coalition.
While GERB was in power, it emerged from Dossier Commission reports that the Foreign Ministry had, proportionately, the highest concentration of former communist-era State Security people. The then-foreign minister, Nikolai Mladenov, led a policy to ensure Bulgaria was not represented at the highest levels of diplomacy by agents and collaborators of State Security.
But Vigenin has reversed this, speaking of how people had been “humiliated” and of the need to draw on experience at the Foreign Ministry.
Petyo Petev, State Security code name Dinov, has been appointed head of the Nato and Regional Security directorate. Petev had occupied the same post at the time of the 2005/09 BSP-led tripartite coalition. “His return has caused bewilderment among diplomats from Nato countries,” Trud said.
Other former State Security now in top posts at Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry are the head of the Global Issues directorate, Rayko Raichev, the Asia, Australia and Oceania directorate, Angel Orbetsov (State Security code name Gulev) and America directorate head Chavdar Zhechev (State Security code name Popov).
Military Intelligence colonel Petar Vodensko will be responsible for External Planning, Information and Coordination.
Krassimir Kostov (code name Norris) has been appointed to head Bilateral European Cooperation. Kostov was a deputy minister in the previous government and resigned after being identified by the Dossier Commission.
State Protocol is now headed by Atanas Mladenov (Agent Vixher, meaning ‘whirlwind’). Mladenov was sent to Rome in 2007 by President Georgi Purvanov (agent Gotse).
Gancho Ganev (State Security code name Genchev) heads the Eastern Europe and Central Asia directorate and former Military Intelligence staffer Rakovski Lashev has been put in charge of Consular Relations. Dimitar Filipov (State Security code name Plamen) heads the Human Rights directorate.
Bulgaria’s former ambassador to Brazil, Nikolai Tsachev, heads the Situation Centre. There is information that he worked for State Security as Mario-1 but he rejects as untrue the allegation that he was with State Security and has said that he is a victim, Trud said.
The Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry appointed under the BSP government is Georgi Dimitrov, exposed as a former State Security agent when in 2007 he became an adviser to then-president Purvanov and later Bulgaria’s ambassador to Serbia.
Dimitrov was an agent of the Second Chief Directorate of State Security and secret collaborator of the First Chief Directorate of State Security.