Ukraine Invasion: Bulgarian Government Expels 10 Russian Diplomats

No fewer than 10 Russian diplomats were expelled by the Bulgarian government on Friday.
The diplomats were said to be carrying out activities deemed incompatible with their diplomatic status, a move followed up quickly by the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.


This was contained in a statement by the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on Friday, noting that it had given the 10 diplomats 72 hours to leave.
The statement did not give a more detailed reason for the expulsions, but since Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the Russian ambassador in Sofia had repeatedly made contradictory statements about Bulgaria’s position on the conflict.
According to a statement on its website, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said Prime Minister, Kiril Petkov, was consulted on the expulsions and the Russian ambassador to Sofia had been informed.
This is said to be the second wave of expulsions of Russian diplomats from Bulgaria, with two expelled on March 2 over allegedly involvement in espionage.
The Russian embassy in the country has called the expulsion a “hostile demarche” that would hurt relations between the two nations.
Soon afterward, Latvia and Estonia said they were both expelling three Russian diplomats, while Lithuania said it had told four Russians that they must leave the country.
“Russia’s military attacks on civilians, civilian objects, hospitals, schools, maternity wards, and cultural objects are war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said.
“Russian special services are actively involved in organizing these crimes against the peaceful population of Ukraine, so we do not want the representatives of these structures to walk on our land and pose a threat to Lithuania’s national security.”
Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said on Twitter that Riga was expelling three Russian Embassy employees “in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
“The decision has been coordinated with Lithuania and Estonia,” he added.
Estonia said the three diplomats it had asked to leave “have directly and actively undermined Estonia’s security and spread propaganda justifying Russia’s military action.”

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