The Russian Embassy in Greece on Thursday blasted the foreign policy views presented by visiting US Senator Robert Menendez, accusing him and his country of interfering in the country’s politics.
“American Senators are once again lecturing others about morality, this time on the theme, ‘Which countries to be friends with and which not to.’ Isn’t this an interference in Greece’s domestic affairs?” the embassy said in a series of tweets in Greek.
The embassy said the “real aim” of the US is not to prevent Turkey from buying modern air defence systems, but to convince Ankara to acquire them (such as the F-35 fighter jets and Patriot missiles) from American companies.
“Everything else is nothing more than sensationalism,” it said, adding that “despite the illegal sanctions of the US and the EU, Russia remains open to expanding military-technical cooperation with Greece.”
The embassy argued that the sale to Turkey of the S-400 “is not directed against third parties,” and reiterated that Russia supports international law and is against actions that promote tensions in the region.
It also said Russia considers the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of “fundamental importance to resolving any kind of dispute, unlike some other countries.”
Senator Menendez was in Athens as part of a regional tour promoting the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation introduced by Menendez and Senator Marco Rubio earlier this month that would boost security cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a speech last Monday, Menendez spoke of Turkey’s “unfathomable intention” to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile system, which, he said, “is dangerous in the context of NATO and reckless in the context of its own long-term security.”
Washington has threatened Turkey with sanctions if it takes the S-400 for delivery under a US law that penalizes significant transactions with the Russian defense sector.
Specifically on Russia, he warned that the pressure from Moscow on governments across the Eastern Med is “real and sustained.”