Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Moscow Will Expel Two Greek Diplomats in Response to Athens

Moscow Will Expel Two Greek Diplomats in Response to Athens

Over in Moscow, RIA is reporting, citing Russian Duma deputy Andrei Klimov, that two Greek diplomats will now be expelled from Russia.

Greece chose to expel the diplomats over claims they tried to undermine an agreement between Athens and Skopje over a long-running name dispute, according to the Kathimerini newspaper. None of the reports said whether the expulsions had actually taken place, although the Greek spokesman suggested some kind of action had been taken.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on July 11 that Athens would not tolerate any behavior that violates worldwide law.

Kathimerini reported the move followed perceived attempts by the diplomats to undermine a name-change agreement Greece brokered with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia last month, ending a decades-old diplomatic standoff.

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The deal is expected to pave the way for Macedonia to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in a region where Russian Federation and the West are jostling for influence.

Russian Federation said on Wednesday it would mirror the move by expelling two Greek diplomats, according to reports. The sources added that Greece had been cautious about relations with Russia, particularly refraining from following the example of many Western states that had expelled Russian diplomats in the wake of the Skripal incident - a decision welcomed by the Russian leadership. "From there on, all states and authorities should respect global law, but also us, the Greek government and the Greek state".

Athens has been careful to protect its close relationship with Moscow and reportedly took the rare measures on Wednesday amid increasing efforts by Moscow to expand its influence in the country. "That has also occurred this time", Tzanakopoulos said.

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