Bulgarian Defence Minister Nikolai Nenchev signed an order on May 27 to deliver the archives of communist-era Military Intelligence to the Dossier Commission, the body that deals with disclosures of identities of people who worked for the secret services of the past.
The failure to transfer Military Intelligence archives has been an issue for several years, with apparent internal resistance from old-order networks to disclosures about the military intelligence outfit of what was called the “Bulgarian People’s Army”.
Nenchev, in office since the current centre-right government was elected to power in early November 2014, earlier also complained of the presence of a significant number of pre-1991 people in Military Intelligence, firing an intelligence chief over differences of opinion about dealing with the issue.
Speaking at a joint news conference on May 27 with Dossier Commission head Evtim Kostadinov, Nenchev said, “Bulgaria needs to finish reading the page of the repressive structures of communism. We must move forward, free of secrets and dependencies, 26 years after the changes,” a reference to the beginning of Bulgaria’s transition from communism to democracy.
Nenchev said that the decision to transfer the Military Intelligence archives was in the interests of Bulgarian society, which needed to know everything about the period of totalitarianism so as not to allow it to be repeated.
Other countries such as Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic had long since effected such transfers, he said.
He wanted to bring to an end the fuss about the Military Intelligence archives, to allow its current staff, who had important tasks, to be able to work calmly and professionally on the issues put to them.
According to a Defence Ministry statement, the archive has 30 000 entries, which will be stored at the Dossier Commission building in Bankya.
Kostadinov told reporters that the Commission was issuing an assurance that the security of foreign citizens would not be affected, a reference to concerns about the identities of foreign nationals who had assisted Bulgarian military intelligence becoming public.