SOFIA, January 24. /TASS/. The Bulgarian authorities have declared two Russian diplomats accused of espionage personae non gratae, the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria informed TASS on Friday.
"The Russian ambassador to Bulgaria was summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, where a note was handed to him on declaring the embassy’s diplomat persona non grata and on declaring an employee of the trade mission an undesirable [person] in accordance with the Vienna Convention. No evidence confirming their activities incompatible with their status has been furnished. Russia reserves the right to take tit-for-tat measures," the embassy said.
The Russian diplomatic mission stressed that Bulgaria’s decision to spread information about diplomats in the public realm before formally notifying the embassy was out of sync with "traditionally constructive relations between the two countries."
No information has been provided regarding the deadline for the Russian diplomats’ departure.
Earlier on Friday, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office reported on its website 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.