The diplomatic mission warned that due to a lack of staff, the Russian consular services in the country will stop working, and the embassy may close 4/59/756566167169594.jpg” alt=”Russian Ambassador allowed rupture of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria” />
Moscow is considering the possibility of severing diplomatic relations with Sofia, Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova told BNT.
“Diplomatic relations may even be severed! Moscow will make a decision»,— Mitrofanova said.
She stressed that Russia regards the actions of the Bulgarian authorities, who decided to expel 70 Russian diplomats, as unprecedented. Earlier Wednesday, Mitrofanova demanded that the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry reverse the decision.
Not only diplomats, but also technical staff have been declared persona non grata, the Russian embassy said. From the country will be sent, including an adviser— Russian envoy Philip Voskresensky, consuls general in Varna and Ruse, director of the cultural and information center. They will leave Bulgaria on July 3.
As Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov said earlier, most of the diplomats worked for the special services, and their diplomatic work was a cover. The politician specified that the decision to expel them was based on three reports from the State Agency for National Security (SANS).
Mitrofanova stressed that before declaring a member of the diplomatic mission persona non grata, SANS had to present evidence, “say what they did and state that they consider it illegal.” “But 70 people— why? What does it mean [they worked] against the interests of Bulgaria? Firstly, each embassy works everywhere in the interests of its country. And also for the development of relations in the country where it is located»,— noted the ambassador.
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The diplomat said that there was an intelligence officer in the Russian embassy, ”and SANS knows him very well”: “We had an official security officer who dealt with issues of terrorism and the extradition of criminals. We had a military attaché.
The Russian Foreign Ministry promised to take retaliatory measures. The Russian embassy called Bulgaria's actions “an unprecedented, slanderous, completely unfounded and provocative act.” and warned that if Sofia did not reverse the decision, Moscow would face the question of closing the diplomatic mission. They said that due to a shortage of staff, the Russian consular services in Bulgaria would stop working.
Since the beginning of the year, Bulgaria has expelled employees of the Russian embassy several times. In particular, on March 2, two diplomats were declared persona non grata, on March 18— ten more, April 1— First Secretary of the Russian Embassy.
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