Bulgaria’s international ministry mentioned Friday that it will expel one other Russian diplomat on suspicion of spying, simply two weeks after the Balkan nation declared ten Russian diplomats ‘persona non grata’.
“The foreign ministry handed a note declaring the diplomatic official ‘persona non grata’, giving him a 72-hour deadline to leave the country,” the ministry mentioned in an announcement.
The transfer adopted an alert by the Bulgarian prosecution that the diplomat — a primary secretary at Russia’s embassy in Sofia — was “ involved in unregulated intelligence activity” by amassing “information of national importance,” the prosecution mentioned in an announcement earlier Friday.
Specialised prosecutors introduced that two mid-level officers at Bulgaria’s counter intelligence State Company for Nationwide Safety (SANS) and a 3rd ministerial official have been being investigated for suspected spying for Russia, with out giving additional particulars.
SANS chief Plamen Tonchev mentioned at a subsequent information convention that the 2 long-time officers — a sector chief and a division chief — have been suspended from work after an inside investigation on the company revealed that one in all them was “working in the interest of Russia”.
Tonchev hinted that revelations would see “more (Russian diplomats) declared ‘persona non grata’ in Bulgaria … after this case.”
Bulgaria already expelled ten Russian diplomats on March 18, amid a sequence of expulsions of Russian diplomats from European nations within the aftermath of the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The EU and NATO member — a as soon as staunch ally of the Soviet Union below communism — nonetheless has very shut cultural, historic and financial ties with Russia.
However a sequence of espionage scandals since 2019 has soured relations between the 2 nations and seen some 20 diplomats and a technical assistant expelled.
Sofia additionally recalled its ambassador to Russia final week for consultations amid offended exchanges between its Prime Minister Kiril Petkov and the Russian envoy to Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova in latest weeks.
Petkov mentioned he anticipated that Russia would additionally recall Mitrofanova however there was no indication by Friday that Moscow would try this.
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