Bulgaria said Friday that another Russian diplomat would be expelled — the latest in several such cases — after prosecutors opened a probe against him for spying on US troops in the EU member state.
“The foreign ministry of the Republic of Bulgaria declared persona non grata a diplomat from the Russian embassy in Sofia and gave him 72 hours to leave the country due to activities incompatible with his diplomatic status,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Bulgarian prosecutors issued a separate statement saying that from 2017 until now the diplomat “has engaged in spying activities, during which he collected military information, including about the numbers of US troops deployed on Bulgarian territory during exercises.”
The aim was to transfer this information to Russian military intelligence, prosecutors said, adding that the diplomat also paid a Bulgarian official with access to classified information to provide him with the sensitive data.
Neither the foreign ministry nor the prosecution revealed the rank of the diplomat.
This is the sixth case of a Russian diplomat or high-ranking embassy official being expelled over spying allegations since October 2019.