Sofia, Bulgaria: The Russian administration has responded to the expulsion of its two Diplomats by the Bulgarian government over claims of spying amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called these ousters as a ‘provocation‘, as per to the reporting of TASS.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman – Maria Zakharova, in a media briefing, stated, “On March 2, 2022, the Bulgarian authorities declared two diplomats from the Russian embassy in Sofia persona non grata. We consider the actions of the Bulgarian authorities taken on the eve of an important date in our common history – the anniversary of the Liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman yoke as a consequence of – the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, as an outright provocation. The Russian side is reserving the right to take retaliatory measures“.
The administrative authorities of Bulgaria expelled two Russian diplomats, giving them a deadline of 48 hours to leave the European country. This decision came as sources of government claimed the involvement and received evidence of two engaged in the ‘intelligence activities’.
The announcement of these expulsions was made by Mitko Dimitrov, Director of the Press Center Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He then cited, “The competent state authorities told the Minister of Foreign Affairs – Teodora Genchovska about the proof collected for intelligence activities carried out by the citizens of Russian Federation enjoying – diplomatic immunity.”
“They carried out – unregulated intelligence activities, incompatible with their diplomatic status on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria“.
“The first note says the Russian side that Bulgaria declares two diplomatic employees of the Russian embassy in Bulgaria – persona non-grata. And with the second note come that the – Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly protests against the publications of the Embassy of Russia in the information space in the past days with insulting qualifications and suggestions to Bulgaria and its allies. They are incomplete contradiction with the repeatedly declared by the embassy itself and its leadership policy of respect and cooperation with Bulgaria”, the Minister cited, while urging the removal of both diplomats.