June 23. 2024. 1:43

The Daily

Read the World Today

Bulgaria issues one passport to Russians every day

One Russian gets a Bulgarian passport daily, a total of 356 in 2022, according to EURACTIV Bulgaria’s partner Segabg.com, citing data from the president’s office.

In total, in 2022, 7,410 people acquired citizenship based on Bulgarian origin, a Bulgarian citizen parent, or general naturalisation. Bulgarian citizenship was restored to 2,660 individuals. The naturalisation of 13 people was cancelled due to various violations.

The Bulgarian citizenship of 247 people was revoked by decree. This category includes Bulgarians who have permanently settled in another country and have requested to acquire citizenship, as Sofia does not allow dual citizenship.

These ex-Bulgarian citizens took passports from various places, including Belarus and Russia. Others became citizens of Great Britain, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, North Macedonia, and the US.

Since 2022, Bulgaria has issued a ban on so-called “golden passports”, which are given in exchange for heavy investments into the country, and about 40% of these 105 golden passports were received by Russians.

Since Bulgaria decided to outlaw golden passports last year, no decrees for golden passports have been issued, the presidency’s report says. In 2021, nine golden passports were given. However, eight people became Bulgarians by merit in 2022, all of them athletes.

However, the trend has not changed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In 2021, 479 Russian citizens received Bulgarian passports. The year before that, the number was 485. Furthermore, over 300,000 properties are owned by Russians in Bulgaria, mainly along its seaside, the data in 2019 showed.

Russians are only in seventh place among the people who acquired Bulgarian citizenship last year, with Macedonians (1,992) leading the pack, followed by Ukrainians (1,639), Turks (1,290), Serbs (556) and Albanians (517). Moldovans are also more than the Russians (476).

The picture is similar to the previous two years, with the difference that people from North Macedonia, who became Bulgarians, are many times more.

In 2021 and 2020, respectively, 7,696 and 9,098 Macedonians, 1,547 and 1,926 Ukrainians, 1,269 and 997 Albanians, 1,145 and 899 Turks, 1,127 and 1,221 Moldovans, and 1,053 and 1,228 Serbs became Bulgarians.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)