The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry’s highest official, permanent secretary Georgi Dimitrov, has been dismissed, the ministry said on October 9.
Dimitrov, formerly an agent for Bulgaria’s communist-era State Security and former ambassador in Belgrade, was appointed as the ministry’s permanent secretary in June 2013, soon after the then-government appointed with the mandate handed to the Bulgarian Socialist Party took office.
Bulgaria is currently in the stewardship of a caretaker cabinet appointed by head of state President Rossen Plevneliev pending the formation of a government after the country’s October 5 ahead-of-term parliamentary elections.
Bulgarian site Mediapool reported that the ministry said that even during his time in office under the previous cabinet, Dimitrov had not met job requirements. Further, he was the manager of a company, contrary to the requirements of the position, the report said.
Dimitrov had been offered several options for redeployment to other positions in the ministry but he declined them, which led to his dismissal from the ministry.
The head of the South Eastern Europe directorate, former ambassador to Montenegro, Maya Dobrev has been appointed acting permanent secretary pending a permanent appointment to the position.
Dimitrov was an adviser from 2002 to 2005 to then-president Georgi Purvanov (himself former State Security Agent Gotse) before being appointed ambassador to Serbia at the time of a previous Bulgarian Socialist Party government.
Dimitrov was one of the former State Security agents in the Foreign Ministry who won court action against Nikolai Mladenov, who was foreign minister in Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB government from January 2010 until Borissov’s resignation as PM in early 2013, over the termination of his deployment as an ambassador.
Disclosures by the Dossier Commission in 2010 and 2011 established that the Foreign Ministry, at the time, had a significantly large number of former State Security people on its payroll, including at the highest levels.
Mladenov recalled senior diplomats with State Security pasts to Sofia after Purvanov refused to sign decrees terminating their appointments as ambassadors. Two months after becoming head of state, in March 2012 President Plevneliev terminated Dimitrov’s deployment as ambassador in Belgrade.
When the BSP 2013/14 government came to power, the then-foreign minister reversed the policy of keeping State Security people out of top posts in the country’s diplomatic service.
The Foreign Ministry said that the dismissal of Dimitrov related solely to his having failed to meet the requirements of the position.
The website desebg.com noted that Dimitrov had been identified as a former State Security agent at the time he was employed in the Presidency as a foreign policy adviser.
Dimitrov was Agent Anton in the second chief directorate of State Security, which was in charge of counter-intelligence.
He was a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party from 1978 and graduated from the foreign policy academy in Moscow in 1983. He was appointed to State Security in 1987, three years before being appointed an officer of the Foreign Ministry in the UN and Disarmament section.