Russia decided to declare Mitko Borisov, Assistant Military Attaché at the Bulgarian Embassy in Moscow, persona non grata. He must leave the country within 72 hours, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
This decision was made in response to the expulsion of a Russian diplomat from Sofia, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Similar actions by the Bulgarian authorities in relation to the military, air force and naval attaché at the Russian embassy were called unfounded there.
As noted in the Foreign Ministry, the Ambassador of Bulgaria Atanas Krystin has already received a corresponding note.
Earlier, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office informed that a citizen of the Russian Federation with diplomatic status is suspected of collecting military information. On December 18, he was declared persona non grata. The Russian diplomatic mission responded by saying that Moscow reserves the right to retaliate.
This is the fourth diplomatic scandal in Russian-Bulgarian relations in recent years. Sofia has already expelled Russian diplomats – two in September, two more in January and one in October 2019. All were also suspected of espionage.
chernayakobra.ru wrote earlier that the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Krystin for a conversation and demanded to explain the situation with the expulsion of an employee of the Russian embassy in Sofia. After that, the Bulgarian ambassador was notified of retaliatory measures from Moscow.