Sofia expels Russian diplomats

The Bulgarian government has ordered 70 Russian diplomats to leave the country by Sunday. Kiril Petkov, acting prime minister after a vote of no confidence, explained the move saying the diplomats were working against Bulgaria's interests. Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova has threatened to close the embassy in Sofia. Bulgaria's national press is not impressed.

Open/close all quotes (BG) /

Let the Kremlin cut its expenses

Let them close the embassy, says

“Our exports to Russia are insignificant. Apart from the UN, Unesco and a few others, we are not members of the same organisations. Nobody moves from Bulgaria to Russia. The influx of Russians to Bulgaria has also dried up. Our only important economic ties to Russia were natural gas and oil, but now they have cut off the gas. ... If the Russians close the embassy it would be a sensible business move on their part - they would even save a few leva. And if they ever want to poison someone again or blow up a weapons factory, they'll find a way even without an embassy.”

Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Moscow lagging three decades behind

Russia must finally understand that Bulgaria is not its satellite state, Deutsche Welle's Bulgarian service stresses:

“Moscow is convinced in all seriousness that the 'Bulgarian natives' must be led and managed by all available means: propaganda, military and economic blackmail, espionage, subversive activities. ... Lost in their fantasies of being a global power, however, Putin and his people have failed to notice that in the last thirty years Bulgaria has become a democratic country (albeit with many shortcomings), and that Bulgarians now freely choose who governs them and with whom they form alliances.”