Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, released a statement on social media on Friday warning that “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia were in danger of becoming “a solid double line between us,” focusing on Greece’s decision to declare 12 Russian officials personae non gratae on April 6.
“There was a time when Russia helped Greece achieve independence and restore its statehood, and its first head was previously Russia’s foreign minister, but now this country’s diplomatic relations with Russia have been reduced to almost nothing,” Zakharova warned, adding that “this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends.”
“This is not so much an issue of Euro-Atlantic solidarity erasing the past, since it is a sovereign choice for every nation to decide whom to honor. Even worse, this deprives people and nations of their future, independence and the right to make sovereign choices,” Zakharova concluded.
Greece on April 6 declared 12 Russian officials personae non gratae, joining other European states that had taken similar steps in response to accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in line with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.