Russia Retains Right to Respond to Bulgaria For Expelling Two Diplomats, Embassy Says
14:34 GMT 22.03.2021(updated 14:55 GMT 22.03.2021)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Bulgaria's decision to declare Russian diplomats personae non-gratae is groundless, and Russia reserves the right to respond, the Russian Embassy in Sofia said on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported that Sofia plans to expel two Russian diplomats over the so-called "spy scandal", citing a prosecutor's request. The Russian embassy in Sofia has confirmed this decision.
"On March 22 of this year, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry announced the two diplomats of the Russian embassy in Sofia are persona non grata. We regret to state that this another groundless demarche of the Bulgarian authorities will not contribute to further building a constructive Russian-Bulgarian dialogue. The Russian side reserves the right to respond," the embassy said on its Facebook page.
Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva demanded that two Russian diplomats in Sofia who have been declared personae non-gratae, leave the country within the next 72 hours.
‚ÄčEarlier in March, the Bulgarian Prosecutor's Office said it started pre-trial proceedings against a group of people suspected of spying for Russia. The office also brought espionage charges against six Bulgarian citizens, including servicemen and public servants, who allegedly transferred classified data to Russia.
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