Bulgaria expels 11th Russian diplomat over suspicion of spying
Bulgaria expels 11th Russian diplomat over suspicion of spying

Sofia, Bulgaria: The Foreign Ministry of Bulgaria notifies to expel another Russian diplomat over the charges of “spying,” making it the 11th expulsion. The announcement was made on Friday, April 1, 2022.

The statement issued by the Foreign Ministry asserts, “The foreign ministry handed a note declaring the diplomatic official ‘persona non grata‘, giving him a 72-hour deadline to leave the land.” 

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One of the Bulgarian prosecutions, in a statement on Friday, cites that the diplomat was the first secretary at Russia’s embassy in Sofia and involved in some “unregulated intelligence activity,” gathering confidential information which holds national significance. 

According to the Specialized prosecutors, two officers of mid-level at Bulgaria’s counterintelligence State Agency for National Security (SANS), including the third one – a ministerial official were the ones being probed for suspicion of spying for Russia. 

The chief of SANS – Plamen Tonchev, on the matter, stated, “Two officers, working for a long time, a sector chief and a department chief, have been now suspended after an internal investigation at the agency revealed that one of them was working for the Russian government.  

Previously, the Prime Minister of Bulgaria – Kiril Petkov, removed at least 10 Russian diplomats from their office over the same charges of suspicion of spying during the previous month. However, their names and designations were not shared by the foreign ministry. 

According to the hints left by SANS’s Chief, “The revelations might witness more Russian diplomats declared ‘persona non grata’ in Bulgaria after the reporting of this case.” 

Meanwhile, speaking on the sanctions being imposed on Russia, the foreign ministry of Bulgaria tweets, “So far, more than 40 nations have joined the EU sanctions. This is proof of the determination with which the international community opposes the invasion of Ukraine! #StandWithUkraine #EUSanctions.”

“18 years ago, the Bulgarian flag was proudly raised in #NATO HQ to mark the accession of Bulgaria as a full-fledged member. Bulgaria works firmly with its Allies to safeguard Euro-Atlantic security and common democratic values. Today we are more united than ever #WeAreNATO #StrongerTogether.” 

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