Bulgaria has announced that it has ordered the expulsion of one Russian and two Belarusians from the country.
The statement, which was made known to the public, has raised questions. While putting the number of expelled Russians at one, including two Belarusians, the government failed to either state their names or status. It also did not say the reasons behind the decision.
Bulgaria, a member of the European Union and a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since 2022, has shown resilience and a hard stance against Russia’s actions, especially its invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier in 2022, Bulgaria went into an expulsion drive when it expelled about 70 Russians, all of them diplomatic staff.
The decision was the largest expulsion of diplomats in one single order by any government in Bulgaria in recent years. That led to a break in diplomatic relations between the two countries.
In late 2022, Bulgarian citizens led a protest against the Russian Orthodox Church.
The protest began when a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate visited Sofia after they had openly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Embassy in Sofia has reacted, calling the action “a rude and blatant action by the Bulgarian authorities.”
Russian Ambassador to Bulgaria Eleonora Mitrofanova had on September 21, said that the three clerics were summoned to the migration office and were told they had to leave Bulgaria because they “represent a threat to Bulgaria’s national security.”
The expelled Russian and Belarusian citizens are accused of spying.