Russia Threatens Tit-for-Tat Expulsion of Greek Diplomats



Russia’s foreign ministry

Moscow will give a mirror response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Earlier, Greek daily Kathimerini reported that two Russian diplomats were ordered by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to leave the country, accusing them of intrusion into domestic affairs and illegal acts.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “a mirror response will follow as per established practice for such cases”.

According to a ministry official quoted by Russian agency Tass, “the expulsion of diplomats always leads to tit-for-tat measures”.

Kathimerini quoted “high-level Greek diplomatic sources”, according to whom the two diplomats tried to bribe municipalities and high-level clergy in the Greek Orthodox Church in order to increase Russia’s influence in Mount Athos.

They also accused them of trying to intervene in a sensitive domestic issue like the agreement between Greece and FYROM over the name, and by doing so negatively affect Greece’s role in the Balkans.

Greece will not tolerate any behavior that violates international law, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

“Greece has proven that, in the context of a multifaceted foreign policy, it wants good relations with all states,” spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told Skai, adding that: “All states must respect international law as well as the Greek government and the Greek state.”

“[Greece] will not tolerate any kind of behavior that violates international law,” he said.