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Bulgarian diplomatic prime minister rejects Russia's ultimatum and announces potential successor

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Reuters

Reuters

Sofia-Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov rejects Russia's final result of overturning the decision to expel 70 Russian diplomatic staff by noon on Friday, with the State Finance Minister as his candidate for successor. Nominated.

The Balkans, a member of the EU and NATO and once a close ally of Russia, have recently been confused by the political turmoil that Parliament passed a vote of no confidence in the coalition government last week. ing. Petkov announced this week the expulsion of Russia on espionage.

Russia issued an ultimatum on Thursday threatening to close the Russian embassy unless Sophia cancels the expulsion.

Petkov said in a video statement that Russia's actions were unacceptable.

"Do not allow Bulgaria to go in the wrong direction ... Do not allow foreign diplomats to give an ultimatum to the province of Bulgaria by noon (to comply with their request)" He said.

His middle-class PP party has announced that Treasury Minister Asen Vasilev will be appointed as the country's next prime minister, and he will also work to eradicate widespread corruption and increase income. He called on all coalition partners to support the party's quest.

A diplomatic dispute with Russia destroyed the government after a coalition ally, a socialist, said he did not support the new government led by Petkov.

The socialists, who were traditionally more friendly to Moscow, said they were angry with Petkov's decision to expel the Russians.

At the beginning of Friday, they asked Congress to vote to cancel the expulsion to save diplomatic relations with Moscow. The center-right GERB, the largest opposition, said it supported the expulsion.

Petkov hopes that by appointing someone other than himself as prime minister, his party will remain in power and avoid new elections. Following Vasilev's nomination, socialists said they were ready to negotiate.

President Rumen Radev will hand over a mission to the PP to form a new government later on Friday. The party, which takes seven days to make a detailed proposal, said it would propose a new cabinet only if it gathered an absolute majority in parliament. (Report by Tsvetelia Tsolova, edited by Andrew Osborn)