Russian Ambassador to Greece Calls Diplomats’ Expulsion ‘Disappointing’



Russia’s Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov (L) with Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos (File photo).

Russia’s Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov criticized the Greek government decision to expel two Russian diplomats and bar two others from entering Greece, calling it “disappointing”.

On Friday morning, the Russian ambassador posted three consecutive tweets expressing his disappointment after the recent cooperation between the two countries in recent years.

Maslov wrote that recent years have been great for Russia – Greece relations, with political dialogue at the highest level, with close contact between competent ministries and meaningful cooperation in business, culture and tourism.

“Greece’s moves during this year’s 190th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations and the 25th anniversary of the fundamental Pact of Friendship and Cooperation, have become disappointing for us,” the latest tweet read.

Maslov also spoke to Russian news agency Sputnik saying that the Greek Foreign Ministry had overreacted in its response to a statement by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, a statement which he described as “correct and balanced”.

“The statement of Maria Zacharova was correct and balanced, while the Greek Foreign Ministry’s reaction was excessive,” Maslov said.

On Wednesday Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that Moscow should stop interfering in domestic affairs and treating Greece with disrespect.

In response to the expulsion of the two Russian diplomats, Zakharova had warned Athens that such acts cannot pass without consequences and advised Greek diplomats to not fall for “dirty provocations”.

The diplomatic row became more intense on Thursday, when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov canceled a scheduled visit to Athens. The Greek side tried to ease the tension by using diplomatic sources to state that Lavrov is welcome to Greece.