MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Moscow views the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria as an unfriendly and a provocative step and warns the Bulgarian authorities about tit-for-tat measures, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
"We qualify this step by official Sofia as an outright unfriendly and provocative step that runs counter to the constructive and traditionally mutually respectful nature of Russian-Bulgarian relations. We reserve the right to take tit-for-tat measures," the statement says.
According to the statement, the Bulgarian authorities gave no clear evidence for their decision to expel the Russian diplomats.
"On January 24, the Bulgarian authorities made a decision to expel a diplomat of the Embassy and an employee of the Trade Mission of the Russian Federation in Bulgaria from the country. No clear evidence was given to substantiate this decision," the statement says.
The Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office reported on its website on January 24 that pre-trial probes involving two Russian diplomats as part of an espionage case had been launched. According to prosecutors, their illegal activities included elections and the energy sector. In accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Bulgaria halted criminal proceedings against two Russian citizens. However, the Prosecutor’s Office claims that there are grounds for indicting them.