Two Russian government planes took 70 expelled diplomats and their families from Bulgaria on Sunday and flew from Sofia to Moscow.
Euractiv writes about it.
According to the Bulgarian press, the total number of passengers who left the country is more than 180 people.
Last Thursday, Bulgaria declared 70 Russian diplomats persona non grata, the largest expulsion since Britain expelled 105 Soviet diplomats during the Cold War in 1971.
Not all of the 70 expelled are reportedly diplomats, some are technical staff such as cooks, drivers or gardeners.
Among the expelled Russian diplomats who went to Moscow was Russian Embassy number two Philip Voskresensky, who said that none of the Russians "expelled illegally, brazenly" worked against the Republic of Bulgaria.
"No one can spoil Russian-Bulgarian relations, no one," Voskresensky said, speaking at the airport.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Bulgaria has reduced "to a minimum, even to zero" the possibility of the Russian embassy in Sofia functioning.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko warned that Moscow must decide whether to keep or close the Russian diplomatic presence in Bulgaria.
As a reminder, last week, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov announced the expulsion of 70 employees of the Russian embassy from the country because they were engaged in spying activities.
Russia issued an ultimatum that threatened to close the embassy if Sofia did not cancel the expulsion by Friday afternoon. The Russian Foreign Ministry also allowed for "asymmetrical retaliation."
Petkov rejected the Russian ultimatum, saying Russia's behavior was unacceptable.