Russia’s overseas ministry stated on Friday (5 August) that Moscow declared 14 Bulgarian embassy employees persona non grata, leaving the nation with nearly no diplomatic presence.
4 of the officers expelled are diplomats, the remaining 10 are technical employees, the Bulgarian overseas ministry stated in a publish on Fb.
Bulgaria earlier this summer time expelled 70 Russian diplomatic and technical employees over espionage considerations and set a cap on the dimensions of Moscow’s illustration as relations between two international locations that had been as soon as shut allies fractured over Ukraine.
Bulgaria is left nearly with out diplomatic employees in Russia after the expulsion, EURACTIV Bulgaria reported.
In distinction, even after the expulsion of the 70 employees, the Russian embassy nonetheless has personnel in Sofia of over 40 individuals.
In a press release, Russia’s overseas ministry blamed for this “counter-productive measure” the federal government of outgoing prime minister Kiril Petkov.
Petkov, a pro-Western reformist, misplaced energy after a confidence vote on 23 June.
Bulgaria is now run by a caretaker authorities appointed by President Rumen Radev.
Radev has criticised Petkov for the expulsion of the 70 embassy employees. It’s nonetheless unclear how he plans to fix ties within the interval earlier than the two October elections.
[Edited by Alice Taylor]