Bulgaria | 70 Russian diplomats are to be expelled
Defence Redefined
Published on 29/06/2022 at 12:40

Seventy members of the Russian diplomatic delegation will be expelled, Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, announced on Tuesday.

“Bulgaria is going to expel 70 Russian diplomats (…). Our services have identified them as people who were working against our interests,” he told reporters. This is the largest number of Russian diplomats in Bulgaria expelled in one go.

“All those who work against the interests of Bulgaria will be invited to return to their country. We expect a 70-seat plane to depart for Moscow,” Petkov added.

Those identified as a “threat to national security” must leave the country by July 3rd, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said.

Many European countries have expelled Russian diplomats following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with Russia retaliating.

The Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had summoned Russia’s ambassador to Sofia, Eleonora Mitrofanova, to brief her on Sofia’s decision.

Bulgaria, which expects Russia to temporarily close down its consulate general in Ruse, in northern Bulgaria, for its part will temporarily close down its consulate in Yekaterinburg (Urals), the Ministry said.

The Balkan country had already expelled 10 Russian diplomats in March over the war in Ukraine, according to Euronews.

Today a member of the EU and NATO, Bulgaria, a staunch ally of the Soviet Union under communist rule, still maintains close cultural, historical, and economic ties with Russia. Yet a series of espionage scandals since 2019 have worsened their bilateral relations.

Also read: Greece – Russia | Russia expels 8 Greek diplomats – Athens’ response




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