Russian Ambassador: Russia is Considering Severing Diplomatic Relations with Bulgaria (UPDATED)
"Moscow is considering severing diplomatic relations with Bulgaria over a scandal involving 70 expelled Russian diplomats". This was stated by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation Eleonora Mitrofanova for BNT.
Russia describes the government's actions as unprecedented. Meanwhile, it became clear that Ambassador Mitrofanova was received at the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry today, where she insisted with a verbal note on the withdrawal of the decision to expel the diplomats.
BNT reporter Tihomir Ignatov talked to the Russian ambassador - see what she said:
BNT: Everyone is now asking - what will be Russia's response?
Eleonora Mitrofanova: I think that in that case it will be very difficult. I am now in contact with Moscow. And Moscow will take very drastic measures. That cannot go unnoticed.
BNT: Like for example? What does "reciprocal asymmetric response" mean?
Eleonora Mitrofanova: Diplomatic relations may even be severed! Moscow will take the decision.
BNT: The government has once again cast a shadow of suspicion of espionage and work against the country's interests. The Prime Minister referred to SANS reports on espionage.
Eleonora Mitrofanova: You see, I want to emphasize once again. When they call the ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and say that they want to expel the diplomats, they must show that SANS has data against specific people. To say what they have done and to declare that they consider it illegal. If there is evidence, then of course, expel them. But 70 people - why? What does it mean against the interests of Bulgaria? First of all, every embassy everywhere works for the interests of its country. As well as for the development of relations in the country where it is located. But when this list includes the Minister Plenipotentiary, who has specialized in the Bulgarian language, who knows a large number of people in the country, or the Consuls General, who work in the country and half of Bulgaria knows them...
BNT: The prosecutor's office is investigating and has accused a Bulgarian general and a Russian diplomat of espionage. The news was announced on March 2. Earlier, Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev announced a spy group compared to the legendary "Cambridge Five".
Eleonora Mitrofanova: They have not collected any evidence. Do you understand if we are looking at any meetings ... with a Bulgarian colleague or a person you have known since the good years when the military and intelligence communicated. We have an official intelligence representative at the embassy and SANS knows him very well. We had an official representative of the security service who dealt with issues of terrorism and the extradition of criminals. We had a military attache, and now all our military representatives, that is, the officials of the military department, have been expelled.
BNT: Weren't you the person who passed the good tone? And is there another diplomat who calls a country's prime minister a "clerk"?
Eleonora Mitrofanova: And what of it? He is a clerk. He is also in government service. Is there anything offensive? I am both a clerk and I am in the civil service. Maybe there are different interpretations in Russian and Bulgarian. In Russian it is not an insulting word. I think he was given the task of expelling everything Russian, everything related to Russia. Of course, the special military operation contributed to this process in Western countries - to reject everything Russian. But he is a man without roots who absolutely does not understand. If he had changed his rhetoric and not spoken the way he did, I think he would have had a very long political life.
BNT: Some politicians want you expelled. Are you thinking of retiring in the name of compromise?
Eleonora Mitrofanova: No, I don't think so. It will be someone else. And what? What will change? Nothing will change. Each embassy pursues a state policy.
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