Bulgarian authorities refused to issue a visa to a Russian diplomat, who was supposed to take the post of defense attaché at the Russian embassy in Sofia, reports Focus news outlet, citing Bulgarian Foreign Ministry.
According to RBC news agency, Russian Embassy in Bulgaria also confirmed this information. "We confirm this information, but we don't give any additional comments," said the press attaché of the Russian Embassy.
Focus also reported that the Russian diplomat, whom the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry declared persona non grata, had taken a direct flight to Moscow.
Russia stated that it reserves the right to respond to the note declaring one of the employees of the diplomatic mission as persona non grata.
Earlier, the Bulgarian Prosecutor's office suspected the first secretary of the Russian embassy in Sofia of espionage. According to the Prosecutor's office, since September 2018, the diplomat secretly met with Bulgarian citizens, including high-ranking officials who have access to classified information about Bulgaria, the EU, and NATO. It was noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was informed about the investigation.