Bulgaria announces to expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff

TEHRAN, Jun. 29 (MNA) – Bulgaria will expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the EU country has announced, the largest number of Russians ordered out at one time from the Balkan nation.

The move, announced by the Foreign Ministry and outgoing prime minister, was the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats by Sofia in recent years and more than halves the size of Moscow’s diplomatic footprint in Balkan country.

“Bulgaria is going to expel 70 Russian diplomats … Our services identified them as people who worked against our interests,” Prime Minister Kiril Petkov told reporters on Tuesday.

“Everyone who works against the interests of Bulgaria will be called upon to return to their country. We expect a full 70-seat plane to fly back to Moscow,” Petkov said, Al Jazeera reported.
Multiple European countries have expelled Russian diplomats following Moscow’s military operations of Ukraine on February 24, with Russia responding in kind by expelling European diplomats.

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova to inform her of Sofia’s decision on the mass expulsion.

Bulgaria also expected Russia to temporarily close its consulate general in Ruse in northern Bulgaria, while Bulgaria will temporarily close its consulate in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, the ministry said.

Bulgaria had already expelled 10 Russian diplomats in March over its military operations in Ukraine.

MA/PR

News Code 188548

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