Russia on Friday has released a statement about expelling 14 Bulgarian consular and embassy staff in reply to Sofia’s “unmotivated” decision to expel Russian diplomatic personnel as tensions spike over Russia’s full-scale military operations against Ukraine.
Several European nations have expelled Russian diplomats following the Moscow’s decision to deploy the military on the Ukrainian border on February 24, with Russia responding in kind.
Bulgaria in June stated that it was expelling 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the biggest number which was ordered out in one go from the Balkan nation. Sofia also made an announcement about the temporary closure of Russia’s consulate general in Ruse in the northern region of Bulgaria.
The Foreign Ministry of Russia said, “We would like to emphasize that the responsibility for the consequences of these counterproductive steps rests completely with the government of Bulgaria.
It mentioned, “We believe that such actions not only result in significant damage to traditional ties between our nations… but also testify to the further degradation of the collective West, which is ready to sacrifice the interests of partners to harm Russia.”
It added that the “unconditional adherence” of Bulgaria “to this destructive line is regrettable.”
Former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Kiril Petkov, have declared about the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats, many of them spies using diplomatic cover, for putting their nose in interfering in the Balkan nation’s domestic affairs.
It was the largest expulsion since the UK expulsed 105 Soviet diplomats during the Cold War in 1971.