A general view on the Russian Embassy in Athens.
The US State Department has expressed its support to Greece after its decision on Wednesday to expel two Russian diplomats who are accused of meddling in the country’s domestic affairs and trying to whip up opposition to the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which will allow it to join NATO.
“We support Greece defending its sovereignty. Russia must end its destabilizing behavior,” tweeted State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.
Speaking to Reuters Thursday, Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos clarified that Russia is a friendly country with which Greece has very good historical relations, but added that Athens had to react to what it considered to “breach of the obligations under international law of the diplomatic activities in our country.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Thursday, “We always proceed from the assumption that such things as expelling diplomats entail a response in kind.”
Meanwhile, a Russian official told Interfax that preparations for a visit by Foreign Sergey Lavrov to Greece have stopped.