Russia expels Bulgarian diplomat in retaliatory move

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Russia has expelled a Bulgarian diplomat in retaliation for the expulsion of one of its own diplomats from Bulgaria.

Bulgaria’s foreign ministry said Thursday that the country’s ambassador in Moscow had been informed that the diplomat must leave Russia within 24 hours, in line to diplomatic protocols.

The foreign ministry added that Moscow cited the “principle of reciprocity” for the expulsion.

In October, Bulgaria expelled a Russian diplomat over spying allegations and also declined a visa to the incoming defense attache at the Russian embassy in Sofia.

Bulgaria, a member of NATO and the European Union, was a loyal ally of Moscow during the communist era and Russia is still its biggest energy supplier.

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