Russia (AFP) – 03/03/2022. 02:30
Russia and Bulgaria… espionage increases tension in relations
- Espionage charges against Russian diplomats
- 10 Russian diplomats and a technical assistant at the Bulgarian embassy expelled
Bulgaria announced the expulsion of two Russian diplomats accused of spying and giving them 48 hours to leave the country, amid tensions in the relationship between the European Union and Moscow.
The State Department said it had “received evidence of intelligence activities” they had carried out, its spokesman, Mitko Dimitrov, told reporters.
The prosecution said that since 2016, one of the diplomats had obtained classified information from a Bulgarian official in the Ministry of Defense, who was indicted on Wednesday.
The judges did not reveal any details about the second Russian citizen.
The political and economic relations between Russia are close and BulgariaA member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) since 2004 and the European Union since 2007, but the cases of espionage involving Russian citizens have been on the rise since October 2019.
With today’s announcement, a total of ten Russian diplomats and an embassy technical assistant have been expelled during this period.
The last expulsion dates back to the end of April 2021, and is related to the investigation into the involvement of six Russians in four explosions that occurred between 2011 and 2020 at ammunition depots.
Prosecutors explained at the time that the goal was to “stop the delivery” of ammunition to Ukraine and Georgia.
Six Bulgarians, including military intelligence officers, were also indicted in November 2021 on suspicion of being involved in spying for Russia.