SOFIA, March 23. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova urged the Bulgarian authorities to stop the espionage show, stating in an interview that Russia carried out no illegal activities against Bulgaria.
"I must state with regret that the anti-Russia rhetoric has been rapidly gaining traction in Bulgaria for over a year now. Starting on October 2019, Bulgarian authorities have been ‘pompously’ expelling Russian diplomats under a contrived pretext once about every three months. […] If we superimpose the facts, we can make a conclusion that gradual development of our cooperation has become a thorn in someone’s side. I must underscore here that Russia always respected civilizational choices of one or another state; in particular, we have never challenged Bulgaria’s Euro-Atlantic vector, seeking to build contacts in the spheres of our mutual interests," the diplomat noted.
Mitrofanova pointed out that "Russia does not carry out any illegal activities against Bulgaria."
"Stop making a show out of this topic," she called.
The envoy commented on the alleged evidence of Bulgarian citizens’ espionage in favor of Russia, provided by the Prosecutor General’s Office, underscoring that "based on the provided video and audio materials, it is impossible to make a direct logical connection between the named people and the work for the Russian embassy."
"In the era of the informational war against my state, the society does not always doubt the credibility of facts and circumstances, due to tight schedule and fast rhythm of life. This is why we believe that, prior to accusing us of all deadly sins, it is necessary to wait for the investigation and un-politicized court ruling. It is regrettable that, amid the increased global anti-Russian hysteria, Bulgaria has found itself in the avant-garde of this destructive trend. […] Campaign dramas fade away, political conjuncture changes, trends go obsolete, and new ones come in their stead. I am certain that centuries’ worth of positive charge in our relations will make it possible to overcome this difficult period as well," the envoy said
The spy scandal
On Monday, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry declared two employees of the Russian embassy personae non gratae, ordering them to leave country within 72 hours.
The embassy underscored that it "consider the Bulgarian decision ungrounded," adding that reciprocal actions will follow.
According to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Bulgaria, six current and former employees of the Ministry of Defense and military intelligence officers were apprehended with support from the EU and the US over suspicion of espionage for Moscow. Five of them were put into custody, while one person was released on bail.