By VALENTINA PETROVA and STEPHEN McGRATH
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A Russian diplomat says two airplanes have departed Bulgaria with scores of Russian diplomatic staff and their families amid a mass expulsion that has sent relations soaring between the two historically close nations. A top Russian diplomat at the airport in the capital Sofia confirmed he was among the 70 Russian diplomatic staff declared “persona non grata” last week. They were all ordered to leave the country by the end of Sunday. The expulsion decision was announced last week by acting Prime Minister Kiril Petkov who took a strong stance against Russia after it invaded Ukraine on 24. Feb.