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(DF) Russia Expels Two Bulgarian Diplomats in Retaliatory Move

April 20 (BTA) – Russia declared two Bulgarian diplomats persona non grata, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia reported on Tuesday. Bulgarian Ambassador in Moscow Atanas Krastin was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was notified of the decision to expel the two diplomats from the Bulgarian Embassy in Russia. The move comes in response to actions taken by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry. On March 22, two diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria were declared persona non grata for violating the Vienna Convention. The expulsion decision followed the detention on March 19 of six persons on suspicion of spying for Russia, five of whom are former or current Bulgarian defence officials and military intelligence officers and the sixth is a woman of Bulgarian and Russian citizenship. Russia responded to the news of the arrests with a comment saying that it was being demonized and that it expected all allegations of a Russian connection to stop before the court rules on the case. At Tuesday’s meeting in Moscow, Ambassador Krastin was not given any other reasons for the actions of the Russian authorities. NV/VE //