Russia expels Bulgarian diplomat in retaliation move

Bulgaria’s ambassador in Moscow, Atanas Krastin, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 26 to be handed a note concerning the declaration of one employee of the Bulgarian embassy in the Russian capital as persona non grata, the Russian ministry said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a media statement that the step was a response “to the decision in April this year by Bulgarian authorities, motivated by nothing, to declare a diplomat at the Russian embassy in Sofia as ‘persona non grata’.”

The statement did not give any details concerning the identity or position of the Bulgarian diplomat being expelled.

Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on April 29 that a Russian diplomat was being expelled from the country, the latest in a succession of Russian embassy staff being declared persona non grata in recent years.

In October 2019, a Russian diplomat was expelled for committing espionage, followed by two more in January 2020. Another two were expelled in September 2020, followed by one Russian diplomat in December 2020, as well as two more diplomats in March 2021.

(Photo of the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow: shakko 01)

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