Bulgaria Expels Two Russian Diplomats Over Espionage Ring

March 22, 2021 15:06 GMT UPDATED March 22, 2021 16:46 GMT – By RFE/RL’s Bulgarian Service

SOFIA — Bulgaria’s government has given two Russian diplomats 72 hours to leave the country, after the authorities uncovered the latest in a string of Moscow-linked spy scandals.

The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry declared the Russian diplomats “personae non gratae” on March 22 because they had carried out activities “incompatible” with their diplomatic status.

The Russian Embassy called the decision “groundless” and said that Moscow “reserves the right to retaliate.”

It expressed “regret that once again this unfounded action by the Bulgarian authorities will not contribute to constructive dialogue between Russia and Bulgaria.”

Bulgaria has close cultural, historical, and economic ties with Russia, the country’s main energy partner. But relations between Sofia and Moscow have been hit by several spy scandals in recent years.

On March 19, Bulgarian authorities in the NATO member state announced they had busted an espionage group passing military secrets to Russia.

Prosecutors said six people, including former and current military intelligence officers, were detained and charged for passing classified information about Bulgaria, NATO, and the EU to the Russian Embassy in Sofia.

The Sofia Military District Court has ordered five of them remanded in custody, while another suspect was released on bail, according to BTA news agency.

Since October 2019, the EU and NATO member state has expelled five diplomats and employees of the Russian Embassy accused of conducting intelligence work.

3 comments

  • Bulgaria is a beautiful country, with cheap property and charming Spa towns. All of which are infested with Russian criminals, propagandists, spies and fifth columnists, whose jobs are interchangeable.
    It was a favourite for the old rich communists and is now for the rich new fascists who do their best to create a pro-Russian narrative whilst working to get their puppets into power. It’s the same throughout the Balkans.
    Cyprus is another beautiful place crawling with putinazi scum. Their spies are all over the place, as Britain still has sovereign bases there and a sizable military presence.
    Anywhere nice and you will find putler’s arseholes trying to ruin it.

    Liked by 4 people

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