Moscow is reportedly exerting constant diplomatic pressure on Athens via all possible channels, in the wake of recent moves stemming from what the Kremlin believes to an “anti-Russian” front, linked to the war in Ukraine.
Among the verbal communications that reached the ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense was one concerning the agreement between Athens and Berlin for the deployment of BMP-1 armored combat vehicles belonging to the Hellenic Army to Ukraine, in exchange for German Marder infantry fighting vehicles.
According to well-informed sources, the communication included threatening language, stressing that Moscow will prevail in the war in Ukraine and things will change. More specifically, it noted that after the war, Russia will examine the attitude of all those involved in strengthening the Ukrainians, including Greece.
Perceptions in Moscow about Greece are also reflected in remarks by Yuri Pilipson, the director of the Fourth European Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry. In an interview with the TASS agency, he accused Athens of following a clear path leading to the destruction of years-long bilateral relations with Moscow.
Pilipson said that “Greek authorities were among the first to send weapons to Ukraine, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces use daily against civilians in Donbas.” He added that “new deliveries are already being discussed by the Kyiv regime of the military equipment that Greece has.”
He stressed that Greece is distancing itself from the Russian energy market and “canceling cultural and humanitarian interactions… despite the fact that, according to opinion polls, 56% of Greeks would like to maintain traditional ties with Russia.” He also derided the deportation “under false pretenses” of the 12 diplomats from the Russian embassy in Athens and the consulate general in Thessaloniki.
However, he did note that “the age-old ties that connect the peoples of Russia and Greece will undoubtedly withstand the test.”