Bulgaria expels a further 10 Russian diplomats

Bulgaria has declared 10 Russian diplomats persona non grata and given them 72 hours to leave the country, the Foreign Ministry said on March 18.

The ministry said that the relevant authorities had established that the 10 had carried out activities incompatible with the Vienna Convention – terminology generally applied when diplomats are suspected of espionage.

Deputy Foreign Minister Vassil Georgiev had notified Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova of the expulsion of the 10, the Foreign Ministry said.

Russian media quoted Mitrofanova as saying that the expulsions were “an extremely unfriendly act” and Russia reserved the right to react.

Recent years have seen a number of expulsions of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria following allegations of espionage.

In October 2019, a Russian diplomat was expelled for committing espionage, followed by two more in January 2020, and two more in September 2020 – to which Russia responded by expelling two Bulgarian diplomats in October 2020.

Another Russian diplomat was expelled in December 2020, and another in April 2021. In the latter case, the Kremlin again responded by expelling a Bulgarian diplomat.

On March 2 2022, two Russian diplomats were given 48 hours to leave Bulgaria, following investigations into espionage, the Foreign Ministry said.

(Photo: Foreign Ministry)

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