The Greek government has reportedly decided to expel two Russian diplomats, and ban the entry of two more into Greece of two more. The four Russian diplomats are allegedly accused of intrusion into domestic affairs and illegal acts against Greece’s national security. The tension seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years., for reasons that have to do with regional security.
According to an exclusive report of daily Kathimerini the case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years., for reasons that have to do with regional security.
“Athens is reportedly accusing the Russian diplomats of efforts to extract and circulate information, and to bribe Greek state operatives, which have failed,” the newspaper reports citing diplomatic sources.
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 same sources note that the initiative follows numerous coordinated efforts to expand Russian influence in Greece including, among others, the activities of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society.
Through monetary rewards they are trying to influence municipalities, metropolitans in the Greek Orthodox hierarchy, and to gain influence in Mount Athos.
They point to the effort by Russia 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.
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 Russia.
Despite this latest development, the same sources note that Greece continues, in line with its long-standing policy, to want good cooperative relations with Russia and to promote friendship between the two peoples, but they add that this can only be the case if both countries respect each other’s sovereignty.
The sources add that any “responsive moves” by Moscow will only lead to further deterioration of relations. Kathimerini notes.
So far there has been no reaction by the Greek Foreign Ministry to the report.