The Bulgarian government has expelled 10 Russian diplomats from the country, according to Russian and Bulgarian source of information.
“On the proposal of the relevant authorities, in agreement with Prime Minister Kiril Petkov, Bulgaria today declared ten Russian diplomats personae non grata,” the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The diplomats, who were in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, were given 72 hours to leave the country.
Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasil Georgiev met with Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova to make the announcement, according to Bulgarian reports.
“Ten diplomats have been declared personae non grata, the wording is usual – ‘activities incompatible with their status’. We perceive this as an extremely hostile act and we reserve the right to retaliate,” Mitrofanova told Russian media in response. .
Bulgarian authorities said employees of the Russian embassy had carried out activities in Bulgaria that were “incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”.
Bulgaria announced its support for Ukraine and condemned Russian aggression before Russia invaded Ukraine last month.
“The Republic of Bulgaria invariably supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters,” the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on February 16. .
He added: “The Republic of Bulgaria condemns the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation leading to an unprecedented escalation of military tensions in Europe to Cold War levels and calls for de-escalation.