Support The Moscow Times!

Bulgaria Says it Will Expel Russian Diplomat

Bulgarian prosecutors on Wednesday said they had established links between six Russians and several past arms depot explosions. Alexander Nemenov / AFP

Bulgaria's foreign ministry said Thursday that it would expel a Russian diplomat, a day after prosecutors said they had established links between six Russian nationals and several past explosions at arms depots.

"The Bulgarian foreign ministry declared one more Russian diplomat persona non grata," the ministry said in a statement. 

It urged Russia to "fully cooperate" in its probes aimed at "discovering the perpetrators and bringing them to justice."

The EU member — which used to boast close ties with Russia — has expelled seven other Russian diplomats and another Russian embassy staff member since October 2019 over various spying and other accusations.

Bulgarian prosecutors said Wednesday they have established links between six Russian nationals who spent time in Bulgaria and four explosions at arms depots in the EU country between 2011 and 2020.

Moscow, in turn, accused Bulgarian officials of trying to outdo authorities in Prague who allege that Russian secret services were behind an explosion in the Czech Republic in 2014.

The Czech accusations sparked a wave of EU-Russia tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.

Sofia says the four explosions may be linked to the one in the Czech Republic.

Moscow denies involvement in the 2014 blast.

"Bulgaria wishes to maintain a mutually beneficial relationship on an equal footing with Russia," Thursday's ministry statement said. 

It added that it "insists on effective cooperation from the part of Russia to elucidate the facts related to the incidents on our territory," adding that Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva had already met the Russian ambassador in Sofia.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more