MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia threatened on Friday to close its embassy in Bulgaria and shutter the country’s EU mission in Moscow as tensions rage over Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine and security concerns. spying.
This week, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said his country would expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff, the largest number ordered at one time from the Balkan nation.
Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova said on Friday that she would ask the Russian government to close the mission in Sofia.
“Unfortunately, our appeal to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry was ignored,” she said in a statement released by the embassy.
She said she plans “immediately” to ask the Russian leadership to close “the Russian embassy in Bulgaria, which will inevitably lead to the closure of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Moscow.”
She added that the responsibility for the “serious consequences of this measure” will lie with the Petkov government.
Petkov said Russian diplomats had “worked against our interests”.
Several European countries expelled Russian diplomats following Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine on February 24, with Russia responding in kind.
Bulgaria expects Russia to temporarily close its consulate general in Ruse, northern Bulgaria, while Sofia will temporarily close its consulate in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, he said.
Bulgaria has already expelled 10 Russian diplomats in March following Moscow’s offensive in Ukraine.
The EU and NATO member – once a staunch ally of the Soviet Union under communism – still maintains close cultural, historical and economic ties with Russia.
But a series of spy scandals since 2019 have soured relations between the two countries and seen around 20 diplomats and a technical assistant expelled.

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