Moscow Will Expel Two Greek Diplomats in Response to Athens

12 Juillet, 2018, 02:23 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

"The Greek government wants good relations with all states, but can not accept attitudes that violate worldwide law and do not respect the Greek authorities", government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told Skai television channel.

Greece has taken "the necessary measures to protect its national interest" after "interference" by Russian officials in the name dispute with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, the government said on Wednesday.

Greece called for the immediate expulsions amid claims that a number of Russian diplomats were involved in efforts in the country to extract material that could then be used to bribe Greek state officials, the Athens daily Kathimerini reports. Moscow always takes tit-for-tat measures in response to diplomat expulsions, an official at the Russian Foreign Ministry told reporters, commenting on media reports about the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece.

The deal between Greece and FYR Macedonia is expected to ease the admission of the small but strategically-important state into the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, in a region where Russian Federation and the West are jostling for influence.

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Kathimerini said Greek authorities were investigating intrusion into domestic policy issues and quoted diplomatic sources as saying the suspicions were exclusively focused on those four individuals.

Over in Moscow, RIA is reporting, citing Russian Duma deputy Andrei Klimov, that two Greek diplomats will now be expelled from Russia. "From there on, all states and authorities should respect worldwide law, but also us, the Greek government and the Greek state".

"In this context, measures have been taken", he added.

Kathimerini reported that Athens ordered the expulsions and bans after perceived attempts by the Russian diplomats to undermine a deal Greece brokered with Macedonia last month that ended a decades-old standoff over its name.

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