Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova commented on the decision of the Bulgarian authorities to expel 70 Russian diplomats from the country, who were convicted of espionage. According to her, Moscow intends to replace them.
“He will arrive, of course, within the framework of that quota – these are 23 diplomats and 25 technical employees. We will recruit, but you understand, this is a process, the process of preparing documents, visas, this is not at the snap of a finger. It will be difficult to work for some time, especially for the consulates, of course,” Ms. Mitrofanova said, answering the Russia 24 TV channel, answering a correspondent’s question about whether someone would arrive to replace the expelled 70 embassies (quote from “RIA News”).
Ms. Mitrofanova added that due to the discharge of diplomats, the Russian Consulate General in Varna will temporarily suspend its work. “I think that the consulate in Varna, since we have a 30-day deadline to close this consulate, we will close it, we have rented premises there, we just leave and that’s it,” the ambassador explained. She specified that the solution of all consular issues of this district will be transferred to the Bulgarian capital.
The day before, on June 28, the expulsion of diplomats was announced by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria. He found out this decision by the fact that Russian diplomats acted on the special services, considering the investigation as a cover. The Bulgarian media wrote that Moscow’s response would be inevitable, probably not commensurate in number, but could lead to virtual paralysis and the closure of the Bulgarian embassy in Russia. In turn, Filipp Voskresensky, an advisor-envoy of the Russian diplomatic mission, included in the list for expulsion, said that all Russian consulates in Bulgaria are busy with their work. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zabolgarova, said that some decisions are made against the will of the people of the country.
Read more about the crisis in Russian-Bulgarian relations in the article “Kommersant” “It’s a shame. Bulgarians, you are different.”
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