Russia expels Bulgarian diplomat in tit-for-tat move

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Monday expelled a Bulgarian diplomat in a tit-for-tat move after the expulsion of a Russian diplomat by Sofia.

The ministry said in a statement it had summoned Bulgaria's ambassador to inform him that Lieutenant Colonel Mitko Borisov, the embassy's assistant military attache, had to leave the country within the next 72 hours.

The move comes after Bulgarian authorities earlier this month expelled Russia's military attache after prosecutors alleged he had been involved in espionage since 2017.

The Russian diplomat is the sixth to be expelled by NATO member Bulgaria since October 2019 for suspected espionage.

Russia said the expulsion of its diplomat from its embassy in Bulgaria was groundless.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Bernadette Baum)