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Russian ambassador's ultimatum: Sofia to cancel the expulsion of the 70 diplomats by noon tomorrow, or...

Eleonora Mitrofanova
Photo: BGNES

Russian Ambassador to Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova has handed a note verbale to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, in which she demands in an ultimatum tone that by 12.00 noon on 1 July 2022 the country withdraws the persona non grata notes on the employees of the Russian missions abroad. Otherwise, "the issue of closing the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Bulgaria will be brought to the attention of the Russian leadership without delay."

In response, outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov advised the Russian Federation to withdraw its Note Verbale. "Although the Bulgarian presence in our embassy in Russia numbers only 12 people, the Russian embassy in Bulgaria will be able to keep 43 of its staff following the decision taken by the Bulgarian government yesterday," he said. Kiril Petkov also expressed his conviction that Bulgarian-Russian relations can continue to develop in areas of mutual interest, respecting the values important to both countries.

Meanwhile, Eleonora Mitrofanova told public service broadcaster BNT that Moscow was considering severance of diplomatic relations with Bulgaria over the scandal with the expelled 70 Russian diplomats. In her words, Russia defines the actions of the Bulgarian government as unprecedented.

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