Greece To Expel, Ban Russian Diplomats

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

As revealed in Kathimerini's report, the diplomats are alleged to have sought to expand Russia's influence in Greece, via local authorities and bishops across the country, and through organizations with close links to Moscow, including the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society. Officials in Athens said that the diplomats sent by Moscow to replace them had been refused entry.

Greek media reported earlier that Athens had made a decision to expel the Russian envoys and ban entry to another two over suspicions they had tried to undermine an agreement with neighboring Macedonia.

According to high-level Greek diplomatic sources, Athens is calling for the immediate expulsion of two personnel, including the Russian Embassy official Victor Yakovlev, and the expulsion of two more.

The Kathimerini report contains allegations that Russian Federation has in some way tried to intervene in sensitive issues, particularly with respect to the issue of the name of Macedonia.

Greece's Kathimerini newspaper said Athens authorities ordered the expulsions after suspected attempts by the Russian diplomats to undermine an agreement Greece brokered with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia last month which ended a decades-old diplomatic standoff over its name.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it would respond in kind to the expulsions, Interfax news agency reported.

They add that the decision for the expulsions is confined to the specific four persons, and does not change the broader good intentions of Greece toward Russian Federation.

In March, Russian diplomats were expelled from more than 25 countries after European Union leaders agreed that it was "highly likely" that Russia was responsible for a nerve agent attack in the UK. "That has also occurred this time", Tzanakopoulos said. Two Britons were also later poisoned by the nerve agent and one has died.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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