Russia: Greece added to list of "unfriendly countries"

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The Russian government has expanded its list of unfriendly countries, against which countermeasures are taken, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers reported.

Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia were added to the list.

The document states the number of employees that the embassies and consulates of these states can hire in Russia.

Based on this decision, a limit of 34 people was set for Greece, 20 for Denmark and 16 for Slovakia. Slovenia and Croatia can no longer employ local staff in their diplomatic and consular missions.

"The list approved by the government is not final and, taking into account the ongoing hostile actions of foreign states directed against Russian missions abroad, it may be expanded," the statement said.

Athens' support for Ukraine and the expulsion of Russian diplomats has clearly angered Russia.

Earlier, in May 2021, restrictions were imposed on US and Czech diplomatic missions.

In early March, the Russian government drew up a list of foreign states and territories "committing hostile acts against the country, Russian companies and citizens" to which Russian individuals and companies can repay their debts in rubles.

This list includes European Union member states, Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea, Singapore, USA, Taiwan, Ukraine, Japan and more.

Meanwhile, the Greek government would oppose a European Union proposal to voluntarily cut gas usage by 15% beginning next month to mitigate a possible complete halt of supplies from Russia, two officials said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the European Commission asked member states to slash their gas use over the coming months to avoid a big disruption of industries next winter.

“The government does not agree in principle with the Commission’s proposal for a 15% reduction in natural gas consumption,” government spokesperson Yiannis Economou said at a press briefing. “We have submitted proposals and we continue to maintain that this direction can provide solutions.”

Speaking earlier on SKAI television, Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said that 70% of the natural gas imported by Greece is used to generate electricity, which means that any cuts would hit households and businesses.

He also said the country has already expressed its disagreement with the proposal and “has taken all the necessary actions” to ensure supplies.

Similar reactions have been expressed by Spain and Portugal.

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