Russia, in response to the expulsion of diplomats from Bulgaria, has declared two employees of the Bulgarian embassy in Moscow persona non grata, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"On 20 April, Ambassador of Bulgaria Atanas Krastin was invited to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was handed a note from the ministry declaring the first secretary of the consular service of the Bulgarian embassy in Russia Panayotov and the first secretary of the service for trade and economic issues of the Bulgarian embassy in Russia Khristozov persona non grata. These employees were ordered to leave the territory of Russia within 72 hours," the statement said.
The move came as a response to Bulgaria's "unmotivated decision to declare two staffers of the Russian embassy in Sofia persona non grata," the foreign ministry specified.
On 22 March, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry declared two diplomatic staffers of the Russian Embassy in Sofia persona non grata and gave them 72 hours to leave the country.