Two diplomats walk through the Secretariat Building at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, September 17, 2015. As leaders from almost 200 nations gather for the annual general assembly at the United Nations, the world body created 70 years ago, Reuters photographer Mike Segar documented quieter moments at the famed 18-acre headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side. The U.N., established as the successor to the failed League of Nations after World War Two to prevent a similar conflict from occurring again, attracts more than a million visitors every year to its iconic New York site. The marathon of speeches and meetings this year will address issues from the migrant crisis in Europe to climate change and the fight against terrorism. REUTERS/Mike SegarPICTURE 14 OF 30 FOR WIDER IMAGE STORY “INSIDE THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS”SEARCH “INSIDE UN” FOR ALL IMAGES

SOFIA, January 24. /TASS/. The Bulgarian authorities have declared two Russian diplomats accused of espionage personae non gratae, the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria informed TASS on Friday.

“The Russian ambassador to Bulgaria was summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, where a note was handed to him on declaring the embassy’s diplomat persona non grata and on declaring an employee of the trade mission an undesirable [person] in accordance with the Vienna Convention. No evidence confirming their activities incompatible with their status has been furnished. Russia reserves the right to take tit-for-tat measures,” the embassy said.

The Russian diplomatic mission stressed that Bulgaria’s decision to spread information about diplomats in the public realm before formally notifying the embassy was out of sync with “traditionally constructive relations between the two countries.”

No information has been provided regarding the deadline for the Russian diplomats’ departure.

Earlier on Friday, the Bulgarian Prosecutor’s Office reported on its website that pre-trial probes involving two Russian diplomats as part of an espionage case had been launched. According to prosecutors, their illegal activities included elections and the energy sector. In accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Bulgaria halted criminal proceedings against two Russian citizens. However, the Prosecutor’s Office claims that there are grounds for indicting them.


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