07:53 GMT26 February 2020
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    Earlier in the day, Reuters reported that Bulgaria was likely to expel two Russian diplomats on suspicion of espionage.

    Russia’s ambassador to Bulgaria received a letter on Friday which said that two Russian diplomats have been declared "persona non grata".

    "The Russian ambassador to Bulgaria was summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, where he was given notes on declaring an embassy diplomat persona non grata and declaring a trade mission employee unacceptable in accordance with Article 9, Part 1 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961. No evidence was submitted confirming that they were involved in activities incompatible with their status," the Russian Embassy in Sofia said on its Facebook page Friday.

    "The Russian side reserves the right to take measures in response. Moreover, we believe the decision of the Bulgarian authorities to disseminate this information in public space before the official notification of the embassy is not in line with the traditionally constructive spirit of relations between our states," the diplomatic mission said.

    The Russian Embassy in Sofia said earlier that it had seen a press release of the Bulgarian prosecutor general on the case, "but we have not received any information via official channels yet."

    According to the prosecutors, one of the individuals worked at the consulate department of the Russian Embassy in Sofia, while the other worked for the Russian trade mission. Earlier in the day, the prosecutor general's office said that "the case against two Russian citizens was suspended due to their immunity" per the Vienna Convention.

    Tags:
    Bulgaria, persona non grata, diplomats, Russia
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