EU member rejects Russian request – Moscow – RT World News


Bulgaria ‘ignored’ Moscow’s request to reverse decision to expel 70 Russian embassy officials

Bulgaria has « unfortunately discarded » a Russian ultimatum to expel 70 employees from its embassy in Sofia, the Russian envoy to the country said on Friday. Elvira Mitrofanova said she will recommend the Russian government to follow through on its threat to sever relations with the host country.

The Russian Embassy warned Sofia on Thursday that diplomatic relations between the two nations could be severed entirely, and that « The responsibility for the extremely serious consequences for bilateral relations will be entirely on Bulgaria’s head. »

Bulgarian caretaker Prime Minister Kirill Petkov, whose government dissolved last week after losing a vote of confidence in parliament, announced the mass expulsions a day after being instructed by the president to form a new coalition. The prime minister claimed most of the 70 diplomats were intelligence operatives working under diplomatic cover, citing reports from Bulgarian security agencies.

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev called on Petkov to hold an emergency meeting of his caretaker government to assess the situation. He said that regardless of the decision taken by the government, « to be in accordance with the requirements of national security and the interests of thousands of Bulgarian citizens living in Russia ».

“They cannot be left without diplomatic assistance. National security decisions cannot ignore the risks of escalation and economic damage,” the statement said.

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