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Romania spy case

Romania spy case

 

Bulgarian involved in Romania spying scandal was hired by Romanian secret services in June 2008
Petar Marinov Zikolov, a Bulgarian citizen involved in the espionage case recently revealed in Romania, has worked for the Romanian secret services for almost 10 months, starting June 2008, news agency HotNews reports, referring to Romanian news channel Realitatea TV. The television channel quoted today an official document issued for the arrest of Zikolov and for a Romanian low-ranked officer, also accused of espionage.

 

According to quoted sources, the Bulgarian agent presented to Romanian investigators all activities he was conducting in Romania, including a list with foreign collaborators, starting June 2008. Romania's Intelligence Service (SRI) had claimed that the Bulgarian citizen worked for other specialized services, abroad.
Romania’s President Traian Basescu and Prime Minister Emil Boc met up at Cotroceni Palace to discuss the case involving the Defence Ministry warrant officer who had been arrested on charges of treason and espionage, news agency Mediafax reports.

 

Ukraine’s military attache and his assistant expelled from Romania
Romania has been expelling from its territory the military attache of Ukraine and his assistant, Russian news agency Interfax-Ukraina reports, referring to the statement of Anatoly Gritsenko, the head of Ukraine’s parliamentary committee on national security and defence issues.

"We know that the Romanian side has taken decision to recommend taking back to Kiev [our] military attache and his assistant, referring to some particular argumentation”, - Gritsenko announced at a briefing in Kiev today.

 

According to Gritsenko, it is not a balanced and friendly step made by Romania and the Ukrainian side has to „adequately react” to it.


 

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service wishes to distance from Romania spy case

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) denied any connection with Ukraine's military attache, Sergei Ilnitkiy, who was expelled the day before yesterday. The representative of Ukraine has been interested in the information supplied by Floricel Achim, non-commissioned officer of Romania’s Ministry of Defence.
According to Romanian daily Gandul, quoting
Svobodnaya Pressa, Russia wishes to distance itself from the incident. Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service’s spokesperson Sergei Ivanov declared that the spy case was not Russia's problem since the expelled attache was Ukrainian not Russian. He added that Ukrainian diplomats were the ones in position to comment the situation.

Romania’s former military intelligence chief admits that

 

 

 

 

 

7 Plus: Ukraine spies NATO. Conclusion: adieu, NATO!

spy affair is attempt to discredit Ukraine
The Achim-Zikolov spy affair may, in fact, be an attempt of discrediting the Ukrainian state, retired General Mihaiu Margarit, former head of Military Information Directorate of the General Staff of Romania, believes. He says that typically an espionage case is resolved through confidential discussions between the governments involved, followed by expulsion of spies as "persona non grata." Arrest of a foreigner as a spy followed by its public announcement is an exceptional case.
General Margarit believes that the allegation on the affair’s connection with
Ukraine was made public to "harm the country's relations with NATO." "Many do not want Ukraine in the NATO structures," stressed the former head of the Directorate of Military Information.

"A chief warrant officer who is in the Secret documents (DS) office has access to such documents almost as much as the unit commander. There are generals who have less access to secret documents than a chief petty officer of the DS office,"explained General Margarit. $800-$1,000 is a very low amount of recompense for secret information that probably means that the data provided by Achim were not very important. It is also possible that money may have been just a form of recruitment, the "cultivation" of friendly relationship between Achim and Zikolov, said Margarit.
AIA already reported yesterday that the appeal introduced by Achim and Bulgarian national Petar Marinov Zikulov is postponed till tomorrow.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry would not comment on
Romania espionage case

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry would not comment by today’s morning the information that Romania had expelled a diplomat following an espionage scandal in Bucharest, according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti. The statement comes as Romanian authorities arrested a Romanian warrant officer and a Bulgarian citizen under suspicion of espionage for Ukraine or Russia.
The Romanian suspect is said to have delivered the Bulgarian a series of classified information including maps and technical data about radar installations and Romanian military units. The latter is suspected of having passed the data to an employee of the Ukrainian Embassy to
Bucharest. News later appeared that the military attache of the Ukrainian Embassy was expelled from Romania.
Yesterday, the Party of Regions member Inna Bohoslovskaya declared at the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of
Ukraine that the previous day, the Ukrainian military attaché had been deported from Romania and declared the person non-grata in Bucharest, Russian news agency Regnum notes.
News agency RIA Novosti also reports unofficial information that because of the spy scandal Romanian President Traian Basescu postponed his visit to
Ukraine, scheduled for February 25-26.

 

 

 

 

Bulgarian interrogated

 

Bulgarian national returned to Romania to lay foundations of spy network: daily Adevarul
Bulgarian national Petar Marinov Zikulov involved in spying in
Romania is a former military attaché of Bulgaria in Bucharest, Romanian daily Adevarul writes.

 

Petar Marinov Zikulov served as Bulgaria’s military attaché in Bucharest between 1998 and 2000, the paper says. He graduated from the defense academy in Sofia; he was major in the parachute troops and has a career of an intelligence officer. Once he received the quality of a military attaché, he was appointed in Bucharest to the corresponding post, according to Romanian military analyst Radu Tudor.

 

Between 1998 and 2000 Zikulov worked as Bulgaria’s military attaché in Bucharest. In 2000 he returned to Sofia and was transferred to the reserves. In 2001 he returned to Romania with his family, settled down in Romania and laid the foundations of the spying network, which was uncovered by the chief prosecutor’s office, by the special unit Directorate for Investigation and Fight against Organized Crime and Terrorism.

 

Daily Romania Libera marks that the espionage action was reportedly discovered as early as 2005 but the members of the network were closely monitored, in an attempt to discover the ramifications of the network, according to the newspaper. The main targets of the action were the military units at the Black Sea, Babadag and Medgidia, the newspaper notes. For four years, Romanian secret services delivered irrelevant information to Achim or even maps that could be downloaded from Google.

 

According to military sources, the information was not used only by Ukrainians but also by Russia. However, the military were not compromised as the information flow was controlled, Romania Libera notes.

 

Romania entering NATO attracted Russian spies, because there is a certain amount of information sharing among NATO members, and Russia saw Romania's culture of espionage as a good place to get at NATO secrets, Strategy Page emphasizes. The Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) did not confirm that the destination of the documents stolen by Achim was Russia, news agency HotNews marks.

 

“When the operations started the problem with the arrest of a citizen of a neighboring country that is a NATO member arose. In the European Union, like in Romania, arrests are not easy. You have to consult your partners. The confirmation that he is not part of any Bulgarian structure came from Sofia immediately, alongside Romanian state’s freedom of action concerning the Bulgarian,” the analyst said.

 

Daily newspaper Gandul reads that the military secret services division is the only one to confirm the information on the spying affair as neither the Foreign Affairs ministry, nor the government or the presidency cared to talk about the issue. The only official action was expulsion of Ukraine's military attaché, information put forward by a Ukrainian parliamentarian member.

 

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Dragovest Goranov said in an interview with Nova Television that Petar Zikulov was still probed into cooperation with Bulgarian security services. The Bulgarian is in a preliminary detention facility; Goranov noted he did not know how important the NATO-related information was. Only Romanian authorities can say it, he specified. “Throughout the investigation and trial Bulgarian state will provide Zikulov with any consular protection,” the spokesman added.

 

Lawyer provided for Bulgarian detained for espionage in Romania

A lawyer has been provided for Bulgarian national Petar Zikulov, who was arrested in Romania on allegations of spying for a third country, not a member of the EU or NATO, BGNES reports
According to deputy foreign affairs minister of Bulgaria Lyubomir Kychukov, Zikulov had the right to pick a lawyer himself and he had used it. The deputy minister however refused to comment in favour of which country the man had spied, although newspapers already revealed it was either
Russia or Ukraine.

 

Zikulov who has a consulting firm in Bucharest was arrested together with Floricel Achim, a Romanian warrant officer, on charges of revealing information vital to Romanian national security to a third party. The Romanian Prosecution charged the two for international espionage yesterday.

 

Romania officially declared that the accusations are not against Bulgaria as a country and Zikulov's actions had nothing to do with Bulgaria, Bulgarian News Networks marks.

 

 

 

 

 

Floricel Achim


There are standardized procedures in NATO in spy cases,
Romania’s former General Staff head reminds

AIA reported yesterday about detention in Romania of Floricel Achim, warrant officer, and Bulgarian citizen Petar Marinov Zikolov, for spying. Romanian General - Former Liberal Defense Minister Teodor Atanasiu claimed yesterday that warrant officer Floricel Achim had been in pursuit of the Army operational services, stating that the case was detected during his mandate, however, kept under surveillance for finding sources, daily Ziua writes.

 

Statement of former Minister Atanasiu has irritated some of his former collaborators. Sources in the Defense Commission of the parliament’s Chamber of Deputies stated that "Atanasiu's statement is irresponsible because internal regulations clearly specify that in case of possessing such information it is not allowed to publicly announce it”. Eugen Badalan, former head of the General Staff of Romania, considers that this issue has been approached too emotionally, "Such incidents happen daily in all armies, including NATO or EU countries”. He thinks that agitation about the case in connection with Romania’s relationship with NATO is a bit of exaggeration. There are standardized procedures for such cases, reacts Badalan.

 

On the opposite side, PSD’s Marian Sania pointed out that was dangerous what had happened meaning the two incidents, detention of the two spies and expulsion of Ukrainian military attaché, while Romania is a NATO member and that could seriously aggravate its situation in the NATO.

 

On the same topic, members of the Commission to control activity of the SRI had a first meeting with Heads of Service yesterday. In an attempt to clarify things, the Minister of Defense Michael Stanisoara and the General Director of the Defence Intelligence General Directorate Gheorghe Savu are to be heard in period March 10-17 in specialized parliamentary committees on the case of information leakage, as well as the theft of weapons from Ciorogarla base, according to Ziua.

 

The Ministry of Defence of Romania says it has started an official investigation at the unit where Achim has been working to establish the circumstances of the leakage of military information, according to Realitatea TV.

 

Zikulovs’ family tree line becomes bolder, former Bulgarian military intelligence chief is spy’s uncle 

Sofia Press news agency points out that one of the two names circulating regarding the arrested Bulgarian citizen (Zikulov or Zikolov) coincides with the name of Colonel-General Vasil Zikulov, the former head of Bulgarian military intelligence. In Bulgaria, this surname is very rare, according to news agency. 
Bulgarian General Vasil Zikulov, former head of Bulgarian military intelligence service acknowledged that he was an uncle of Petar Zikulov, the spy, arrested in
Romania, Bucharest-based daily Cotidianul reports.

 

Petar Marinov Zikulov who was arrested together with the Romanian warrant officer Achim Floricel for intelligence activities carried out in Romania, comes from a family of Bulgarian officers who had a trend for espionage in general and for Romania in particular, the paper notes.

Bulgarian BTV journalists contacted General Vasil Zikulov, former head of the Information Service of the Bulgarian Army, who recognized that he was related to the Bulgarian held in

 

 

 

 

Achim, Zikulov detained

 

Romania, who is second cousin to his father Petar. General Zikulov argued, however, that the nephew had no connection with his past. Asked what profession had Petar Marinov Zikulov, the General told that he was a military in the Bulgarian People's Army (Bulgarian army during Communism-era).
General Zikulov was a partisan in the WWII and joined the Bulgarian army in 1944. By 1960 he graduated from the courses of two military academies in the
USSR, returning home as commander of garrison of Plovdiv. In 1967 he moved to the position of the military intelligence chief and Deputy Chief of Staff of Bulgarian Army, he remained in the position until 1990.

 

Jordan Bayev, a Bulgarian historian of the Cold War, reported in a research supported by the Norwegian Nobel Institute some more details. The research says that in the early 1970s the information obtained by the secret service led by Zikulov was more useful for the KGB than that obtained by the Russians. Identified as a link between military intelligence service and of the Bulgarian Communist security service, Zikulov was engaged in direct supervision of activity in Romania, too. The General has dealt with Romania within the framework of exchange of information between the KGB and Bulgarian military intelligence, the Cotidianul writes. 
 Journalists from Catavencu Academy obtained confirmation of information published by the Cotidianul, according to which Petar Marinov Zikulov is related to the former chief of the military Service of Bulgaria in the period 1967-1990, Vasil Zikulov, born in 1923. In addition, Petar Marinov Zikulov was born in Sliven in 1961. According to
Catavencu Academy, Petar Marinov’s father and General Vasil Zikulov were cousins.

 

Source: Eurasian Secret Services Daily Review

http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=1770