Russian diplomacy responds to Greece with ‘low-level’ expulsions

Russian diplomacy responds to Greece with ‘low-level’ expulsions

The Russian side retaliated to the latest Greek expulsions of two Russian diplomats from Greece and the ban on entering the country for two others. A statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry read: “On 6 August, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador to the Russian Federation, A. Fryganas, received a note that informed him of countermeasures taken by the Russian side in response to the unfriendly actions of Athens in July of this year regarding Russian diplomats and citizens.”

The Russian side expelled the deputy commercial attache and a member of the press office of the Greek Embassy in Moscow, and bans the entry into Russia of George Sakellariou, director of the political office of Greek FM, Nikos Kotzias.

The decision to expel the two Greeks of the Greek mission to the Russian Federation is judged by diplomatic circles as a more communicative form of reaction rather than an essential one, as they are low-level officials, while the ban on entering the country against George Sakellariou is not seen as a diplomatic move since he is a civil servant rather than a diplomat.

Greek diplomatic sources characterise the move “asymmetrical,” since, as they noted, the Greek government had data on the actions of Russian diplomats who were deported while the Russian side did not. Athens looks at how to react to Moscow noting that the response will be appropriate and proportionate to the expulsion of the Greek Diplomatic Mission to the country.

The Russian diplomats who were expelled from Greece in July were charged with interfering in Greece’s affairs using illicit means. The Russian Foreign Ministry believes that “Washington is hiding behind the anti-Russian decision of the Greek government”, reports that the Greek Foreign Ministry has described as “unfounded”…. / IBNA