Moscow retaliates against Athens over expulsion of two Russian diplomats last month

7 August 2018
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Moscow on Monday said it was ordering the expulsion of two Greek diplomats from Russia, a retaliation against Athens for the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece last month.

Russia’s foreign ministry handed the Greek ambassador to the country a demarche listing what it called “measures” for “unfriendly” actions by Athens, i.e. the expulsions of the two Russians and the ban on the entrance into Greece of another two.

Widespread media reports, which have not been denied, point to Greek irritation against Russian diplomats for allegedly stirring up opposition in northern Greece to a recent bilateral agreement to resolve the “fYRoM name issue”. The reports also claimed that Greek authorities have evidence the Russian diplomats bribed officials and civic leaders to oppose and protest against the “Prespes Agreement”, signed by Greece and its northern neighbor, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

A statement circulated by the pro-Kremlin Sputnik site and attributed to the Russian foreign ministry noted that “… On August 6, Greek Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador in Russia Andreas Fryganas was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where he was presented with a note informing [Greece] of the retaliatory measures taken by the Russian side in response to Athens’ unfriendly actions toward Russian diplomats and nationals in July this year.”

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