Russian Foreign Affairs sources have revealed a decision by Greece to expel two Russian diplomats, and banning two others who are working in the Russian diplomatic mission in Greece from entering the country.
TASS reported that sources within the Russian ministry of foreign affairs said that Russia, according to diplomatic norm, must reciprocate in regard to the expulsion of any of its diplomats working overseas.
Kathimerini, a Greek newspaper, reported that Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, Greece’s government spokesman, said that the decision made by Athens to expel two Russian diplomats and to ban two others was based on accusations of meddling with internal affairs and actions that endanger Greece’s national security.
Greek sources said that “the latest decision came as a response to the continuous attempts to expand the Russian Orthodox Imperial Society activities in Greece and intensifying its activities and relations with the Greek Orthodox Church”.
These sources also pointed to attempts to interfere in the dispute between Greece and The Republic of Macedonia having taken place, an area which Athens considers a particularly sensitive strategic matter. The actions allegedly included attempting to gain access to classified information and recruiting Greek officials.
Russian sources said that the decision made by Greece towards Russia threatens to escalate the situation between both countries, despite the fact that Greece took a balanced stance towards Russia and did not participate in the group expulsion of Russian diplomats carried by other EU countries in the wake of the poisoning incident involving former Russian Spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia in the UK.