Greece to 'expel Russian diplomats' over FYR Macedonia deal

Elias Hubbard
July 12, 2018

"The expulsion of diplomats always leads to tit-for-tat measures", the official said.

They also point to the careful stance Greece took in the Skripal affair when it did not follow other Western countries that expelled Russian diplomats, a position that was welcomed by Moscow.

She added that unlike many other European Union countries, Greece did not expel any Russian diplomats following the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in Britain, which London blamed on Moscow. The newspaper says that the diplomats are particularly accused of "attempts to get and disseminate information, as well as bribe state officials".

Greece has made a decision to expel two Russian diplomats for allegedly intervening in the name dispute agreement between Athens and Skopje.

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.

They point to the effort by Russian Federation 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. None of the reports said whether the expulsions had actually taken place, although the Greek spokesman suggested some kind of action had been taken.

The two countries agreed to the renaming of the former Yugoslav republic's name to North Macedonia. They also said that any retaliatory measures that Moscow might take would be useless.

However, the diplomatic sources quoted by Kathimerini added that Greece still aimed to maintain "good co-operative relations" with Russian Federation. "From there on, all states and authorities should respect global law, but also us, the Greek government and the Greek state".

The UK government says the nerve agent used in the Skripal attack was of a type developed by Russian Federation, but the country's authorities continue to deny any involvement.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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