Moscow has described eight Greek diplomats as “persona non-grata”, giving them eight days to leave the country, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The Russian Foreign Minister called the Greek ambassador to give explanations on the “the confrontational course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, including the supply of weapons and military equipment to the Kyiv regime”.
In the same statement, the Russian Foreign Minister underlined that the deportation comes in response to Athens’ decision to characterise, recently, Russian diplomats as persona non-grata.
The Greek side’s response to the Russian decision was immediate, with the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs issuing a statement underlining its commitment to respect for international law.
In a statement, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded that “there is no basis whatsoever for the Russian authorities’ decision to expel the staff members of the Greek diplomatic and consulate authorities in Russia,” who were carrying out their duties based on the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations.
It also noted that “as a principle, Greece respects International Law.”
The Greek ministry added that the remaining staff members will continue to serve their mission under particularly difficult conditions.
It is recalled that shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a number of Western countries had deported dozens of Russian diplomats.
At the same time, Greece, as a member of NATO and the EU, imposed sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine.
Through her Telegram account, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova linked the deportation of diplomats to US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland’s visit to Greece at the same time.
On April 6, the Foreign Ministry announced that 12 members of Russia’s diplomatic and consular missions in Greece were being deported and classified as personae non gratae in Greece.
The representative of the Russian Foreign Minister also spoke about the relations between the two countries, noting that “the Greek state, which was created thanks to the help of Russia with the first leader being the Russian Foreign Minister, was left without diplomatic relations with our country.”
“And this is despite the fact that we share the faith with the Greeks, we inherit the same tradition and in general we have never refused to help our Greek friends”, she stressed, recalling last year’s help in extinguishing the fires.
In fact, Zakharova said that actions such as the expulsion of Russian diplomats for reasons of Euro-Atlantic solidarity erase the common past of the two peoples.”
“”It is not even bad that Euro-Atlantic solidarity erases the past, in the end who is honored is the sovereign choice of the nation. It’s a bad thing that deprives people and nations of the future, of independence and of the right to this sovereign choice.”