With relations between Athens and Moscow severely strained over the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian ambassador to Greece, Andrey Maslov, insisted Thursday that he is in no doubt that Greek-Russian relations will be restored.
“I have no doubt that in the future our relations will be restored. I do not know when, but, given the traditional ties between our countries, I am sure that they will be restored,” he said during a press conference on the unfolding developments in Ukraine.
His remarks came on the heels of a sternly worded statement by the Russian Embassy last weekend which admonished Greek politicians and media over their stance on the invasion of Ukraine.
Asked by Kathimerini if Greece’s sending weapons to Ukraine and Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ strong criticism of Russia signal irreversible damage to Greek-Russian relations, Maslov stressed that “the supply of weapons to Ukraine is very dangerous, as these weapons can fall into the hands of neo-Nazis and gangs.”
He added, however, that Mitsotakis’ stance “did not surprise us.”
“We know that Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952 and of European unification since 1981. We did not expect anything else,” he noted.
With regard to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent reference to the Turkish-occupied territory of northern Cyprus as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” in what was seen as an apparent shift in Moscow’s stance regarding the Cyprus problem, Maslov sought to reassure that “the attitude of the Russian authorities on the Cyprus issue has not changed” and that it is based on all the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
“Russia does not recognize the so-called TRNC, just as Greece does not recognize Kosovo.”
Despite his remarks, the Russian Embassy posted a tweet later in the day again accusing Greek officials and media of unprecedented anti-Russian rhetoric that endangers the “the security of Russian citizens in Greece, mainly tourists.”