site.btaPM Denkov Comments on Russian Church Case
The church must stay open under the care of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov told journalists. He said that in relation to the St Nicholas of Myra Russian Church in Sofia, which was closed on September 22, a day after the expulsion of its rector and two Belarusian priests accused of serving Moscow's geopolitical interests. The clergymen were expelled from Bulgaria, stripped of the right of residence and barred from entering this country for a period of five years by order of the Chairperson of the State Agency for National Security (SANS).
“Russian priests have not been expelled, people who worked against the interests of Bulgaria have been expelled. They are foreign citizens,” Denkov clarified, adding that he has read the report by SANS, and there are enough reasons for these people to be outside Bulgaria.
The Prime Minister attended a national meeting of the Interior Ministry, along with the professional leadership of the ministry, acting Prosecutor General Borislav Sarafov and his deputy Maria Pavlova.
On Monday, Cabinet’s press said that the state is ready to assist in the restoration of divine services in the church, and Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte appointed priests from Sofia to carry out the services at the church.