News World Russia expels Greek diplomats in retaliatory move

Russia expels Greek diplomats in retaliatory move

Russia said on Monday it had summoned Greece‘s ambassador to Moscow and told him it was responding in kind to what it called an unfriendly decision by Athens to expel two Russian diplomats.

Greece said in July it had expelled two Russian diplomats and barred two other people from entering the country for trying to bribe officials and foment demonstrations to thwart a deal to allow FYROM to join NATO.

Russia flatly denied the allegations.

The FYROM issue is sensitive in Greece, where political stability is pivotal as the country emerges from a huge debt crisis. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ fragile left-right coalition recently lost two lawmakers who quit after a deal between Athens and Skopje to rename Macedonia, bringing his parliamentary majority to 152 out of a total of 300 seats.

Greece‘s decision to expel the Russian diplomats plunged relations between Moscow and Athens, which have religious and cultural links spanning centuries, into a rare crisis.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday it had hit back, summoning Greek Ambassador to Moscow Andreas Friganas and handing him a note informing him “of tit-for-tat measures taken by the Russian side.”

The ministry, in its statement, did not name the Greek diplomats it had expelled or say when it had asked them to leave.

However, Russia’s state-backed RIA news agency cited an unnamed source as saying Moscow had expelled Greece‘s trade representative as well as a Greek diplomatic employee responsible for the country’s communications policy in Russia.

A senior official from Greece‘s Foreign Ministry had also been banned from entering Russia, RIA cited the same source as saying.

Russia’s ambassador to Greece called the original allegations against Russian diplomats “nonsense” and accused Athens of acting without evidence, while the Russian Foreign Ministry warned of unspecified consequences.

That prompted its Greek counterpart to tell Moscow to stop interfering in the domestic affairs of a foreign country.

Following the initial diplomatic expulsions, Greece said it still sought good relations with Russia.

However, ties have only deteriorated since, and Russia’s ambassador to Athens was reported as saying last month that the timing of a planned visit to Greece by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in September was no longer suitable.

Top Stories

244 new cases, out of 11,163 tests announced on Friday

The Health Ministry announced 244 new Coronavirus cases out of 11,163 PCR and rapid antigen tests on Friday, 15 January, taking confirmed infections to...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Saturday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Saturday, 16 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Tassos Papadopoulos building – TEPAK, Limassol 08:30-16:30 Church Agia Varvara, Zakaki...

President Anastasides to get the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine next Monday

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, will receive the second dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, next Monday at the Health Center of Latsia, according to...

Expert says milder version of pandemic likely to be present in 2022

Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine & Infection Prevention and Control at the Department of Medicine of the European University Cyprus and head...

Spain’s COVID-19 incidence climbs above 500 cases per 100,000 people

Increased activity at hospitals and health centres near Madrid was seen on Friday (January 15) as Spain's coronavirus incidence as measured over the past...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...