Tuesday, 06 June 2023 04:46 GMT

Bulgaria declares mass deportation of 70 Russian diplomatic personnel

(MENAFN) Bulgaria has ordered the expulsion of 70 Russian diplomats, the greatest number of Russians forced out of the Balkan country at one time.

The action, confirmed by the foreign ministry and the departing prime minister, was Sofia's greatest expulsion of Russian diplomats in recent years, reducing Moscow's diplomatic footprint in the Balkan country by more than half.

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

“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 stated.

Those labeled as a "threat to national security" must leave by July 3, according to Bulgaria's foreign ministry.

Although there was no immediate Russian response to the surveillance charges, an unidentified Russian source informed Russia's TASS news agency that Moscow will retaliate.

Following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, several European nations expelled Russian diplomats, and Russia responded by expelling European diplomats.


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