Sofia, July 01, (BTA/GNA) – Russia’s Ambassador in Sofia Eleonora Mitrofanova said in a Facebook post on Friday that she intends to approach her country’s leadership without delay about the closure of the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria, which will inevitably lead to the closure of the Bulgarian diplomatic mission in Moscow.
“The responsibility for the further grave consequences of this step rests entirely with the Government of Kiril Petkov,” the Ambassador pointed out.
Her statement came in the wake of Bulgaria’s refusal to comply with an ultimatum to cancel by 12 noon local time on Friday a Bulgarian Government decision to expel 70 members of the Russian diplomatic mission.
Earlier in the day, outgoing Bulgarian Foreign Minister Teodora Genchovska met with Ambassador Mitrofanova at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Genchovska’s Ministry said in a press release.
Acting according to instructions from the Head of the Political Cabinet of Prime Minister Petkov, the Foreign Minister asked the Russian side to withdraw its note verbale of June 30, 2022.
By the note in question, the Russian Embassy gave Bulgaria until 12:00 on July 1 to revoke its decision on the expulsion of the 70 Russian diplomatic officials.
Outgoing Prime Minister Kiril Petkov called on the Russian Government to withdraw that note verbale and remedy this type of threats and reprimand the diplomat that “she has no right to put the relations between our two countries on the line.”
“Seventy Russian Embassy staff is a substantial number who are going. The remaining number, 43, is also very large. We have a staff of just 12 at our Embassy in Russia, and they have 43. If 43 seems too few to them, let them see the staff sizes at the other embassies of Europe, many countries have fewer than 43,” the PM told journalists.
“There is no risk of anything, Mrs Mitrofanova is simply trying to play on the fears of people,” he commented.
“I clearly stated that the diplomatic relations [between Bulgaria and Russia] must continue. We have a shared history, but we are now in the conditions of an independent free Bulgaria. The requirements for an equal number of diplomats, adopted in the EU, must be complied with,” Petkov argued.