Agropolychim and EuroChem Agro Bulgaria, owned by the wife of Andrey Melnichenko - a Russian billionaire - were involved in importing Syrian phosphates, which is a legal grey area in the U.S. and E.U.
From an international journalistic investigation, it emerged that three Bulgarian companies - Agropolychim, Afer Bulgaria, and Fertix - have been importing phosphates by sea from the Syrian Arab Republic, even if the country ruled by Bashar Assad have been under U.S. sanctions since 2011 and under E.U. sanctions since 2012. In 2008 Agropolychim was already publicly exposed for their unethical imports from Western Sahara and in 2021 their carbamide from Ukraine was found to be the cargo on the infamous Vera Su ship that got stuck near Varna. Among the possible clients is EuroChem Agro Bulgaria, which was until three months ago the sole property of Russian oligarch Andrey Melnichenko. He was placed under sanctions in the EU and the UK in March 2022 because of the war in Ukraine. He then gifted his shares to his wife, who was later also placed on the EU’s sanctions list in June.
Access the investigative report published by Bivol