Bulgaria expels 10 Russian diplomats for alleged spying

Bulgaria on Friday declared 10 Russian diplomats persona non grata for alleged espionage.

In a statement issued by the Bulgarian foreign ministry in Sofia, the diplomats had been ordered to leave the country within 72 hours.

The ministry added that the Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, had been informed of the directive.

The figure brought the number of Russian diplomats thrown out of the country since 2019 to 21.

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“The activities of the 10 diplomats were incompatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” the statement read.

The allegations came as United States Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, was due to start a two-day visit to Bulgaria.

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Formerly a member of the communist Eastern Bloc, Bulgaria is now a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union.

It has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, another country on the Black Sea.

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