14:05 GMT19 February 2020
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    The day before, Russia’s ambassador to Bulgaria received a letter which said that two Russian diplomats had been declared "persona non grata".

    The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday saying that it regards the recent move by Sofia to expel two Russian diplomats as an unfriendly step and reserved the right to respond.

    "On January 24, the Bulgarian authorities decided to expel a diplomat of the embassy and an employee of the trade mission of the Russian Federation in Bulgaria. No meaningful evidence has been presented to justify this decision," the Russian ministry said.

    It further described Sofia’s decision as an "openly unfriendly and provocative step, which runs counter to the constructive and traditionally mutually respectful nature of Russian-Bulgarian relations."

    "We reserve the right to take retaliatory measures," the ministry added.

    The day before, Russia’s ambassador to Bulgaria received a letter declaring two Russian diplomats "persona non grata". According to Bulgaria's 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 that day, however, the prosecutor general's office said that "the case against two Russian citizens was suspended due to their immunity" per the Vienna Convention.

    Tags:
    diplomatic expulsions, response, diplomats, Bulgaria, Russia
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