The Bulgarian secret services have data showing that Russia pays about €2000 (BGN 4,000) per month to public figures, journalists, and politicians to spread its propaganda in the country, a government spokesperson and head of the prime minister’s office, Lena Borislavova told Darik radio over the weekend.

The government lost a no-confidence vote but will stay in power until a new one is formed or, if that is impossible until the president dissolves parliament.

Borislavova explained that the money was given to Bulgarian politicians, famous journalists, analysts, political scientists and other persons appearing in the public media. The Russian state paid them to shape public opinion.

“To all of you who spit on the EU and NATO for free, as well as support Putin’s actions in Ukraine, you should know. You are screwed up. Those who inspire you to do so are paid. Monthly,” she added.

According to her, some public speakers are used to confusing the public and playing with misconceptions and fears. She said foreign interests “disguised as national interest” are a red line for her party, “Change Continues.”

She also commented on Russian ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova’s demand that the Bulgarian government abandon the expulsion of 70 diplomats and staff members of the Russian mission in Bulgaria. The government refused and so the persona non grata left for Moscow on Sunday.

Mitrofanova has announced that the embassy may be closed. Despite the expulsion, there are still more than 40 Russian diplomats in Bulgaria. Borislavova retorted that Russia could not declare Bulgaria an enemy country and unilaterally cut off their gas, despite the current treaties, and not expect a strong reaction from Sofia.