Greece Expelled Russians Under US, EU Pressure, Claims Analyst

The Greek Foreign Ministry, Athens.

Controversy continues to surround the issue of two Russian diplomatic staff ordered out of  Greece this week.

In an article run by Russian news agency Tass, Igor Pshenichnikov of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies said the decision had been made under pressure from Brussels and Washington.

“It is clear that Greece’s authorities made the decision to expel Russian diplomatic staff members under the pressure of their advisers from Brussels and Washington.

“This is a gift that [Greek Prime Minister] Alexis Tsipras made for the NATO summit,” he was quoted as saying.

However, a Washington Post article citing an AP report said a unnamed Greek official claimed the pair had been involved in funneling money to protesters unhappy over the ‘North Macedonia’ name deal with Skopje.

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

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

It is unclear if the two individuals concerned have yet left Greece; it is understood Friday is the deadline for their departure.