Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry will hold a meeting on Thursday with Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova and is ready for a serious conversation, Bulgarian Acting Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zakharieva stated.
"We will have a very serious matter to discuss with Russia’s ambassador to Bulgaria. A conversation in diplomacy is also an action. We react every time when Bulgaria's interests are violated. It is guaranteed that there will be further actions. We are analyzing the situation and will announce our decision soon," Zakharieva, who also serves as the Acting Deputy Prime Minister, said in an interview with the Nova TV channel, TASS reports.
"We want to cultivate tourism with Russia and have equal relations, however, this should not be at the cost of Bulgaria's national security," the country’s top diplomat said. In the interview, she also touched upon the investigation into explosions at Bulgaria’s warehouses, in which the country suspected six Russians. According to Zakharieva, the Bulgarian side took additional steps as part of the investigation after the Czech side looked into the 2014 warehouse explosions in the Vrbetice village.
On Wednesday, Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor’s spokesperson Siika Mileva stated that the prosecutor's office suspected six Russians of involvement in four explosions at the country's arms factories in 2011-2020, where the Bulgarian arms dealer Emilian Gebrev stored his products.
According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the 2011-2020 timeframe created a feeling that Sofia decided to 'outdo' the Czechs and delve deeper into the events' history. On April 17, the Czech authorities claimed that Moscow was involved in the 2014 warehouse explosions in the Vrbetice village, which killed two people. After that, the country expelled 18 Russian diplomats, labelling them ‘intelligence officers’. The Russian Foreign Ministry lodged a resolute protest, declaring 20 employees of the Czech Embassy in Moscow personae non gratae.