Greece expels 2 Russian diplomats, bans 2 more from entering country

  11 July 2018    Read: 849
Greece expels 2 Russian diplomats, bans 2 more from entering country

Athens has taken measures against Russian diplomats over "illegal activities" and "meddling" that undermine "national security," according to Kathimerini newspaper, which cited diplomatic sources.

Two Russian diplomats were expelled from Greece and another two were banned from entering the country, according to the newspaper.

Athens has accused diplomats of "attempts to collect and disseminate information, as well as bribing government officials," the article says.

The same sources claim that Greece wants to maintain good relations with Russia, promote friendship between the two nations, and cooperation among governments and civil society actors on both sides. However, according to them, this can be done only on the basis of parity and of mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of the two countries, the newspaper notes.

Kathimerini writes that Athens has always been particularly cautious in Greek-Russian relations, as was the case with the Skripal incident in Salisbury, UK, when Greece did not follow the example of other Western states that hastily expelled Russian diplomats.

The publication claims that there have been attempts by Russia to intervene in particularly sensitive national problems and support the interests of Greece in the Balkans, particularly with respect to the issue of the name of Macedonia.

"Diplomatic sources note that Athens' decision refers exclusively to the actions of these four people, and not to Greece's overall good attitude towards Russia," the article reads. The publication quotes the source as saying that any "response" from the Russian side will lead to further relapses.

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