Greece’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it would investigate reports that the Greek embassy in Washington and the Greek mission at the United Nations were being spied on by the USA.
The Guardian newspaper reported that the documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden lists 38 embassies and missions that the National Security Agency was spying on, including the European Union’s representation in Washington and New York.
The eavesdropping of the Greek UN mission was known as “Powell” and the operation against its embassy was referred to as “Klondyke.”
“I would like to underscore that Greece fully respects the provisions of International Law that govern the operational status of Diplomatic and Consular Missions,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras. “For this reason, Greece cannot comprehend the media reports regarding monitoring of Greek and other diplomatic missions by the Services of a country that is a friend and ally.”
Koutras added that the reports in the Guardian and German magazine Der Spiegel would be investigated by Greek authorities.
“It goes without saying that, depending on the findings, the necessary explanations will be requested,” he said.
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said on Sunday that US authorities were immediately contacted about a report in Der Spiegel that the NSA had tapped EU offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations.
“As soon as we saw these reports, the European External Action Service made contact with the US authorities in both Washington D.C. and Brussels to seek urgent clarification of the veracity of, and facts surrounding, these allegations” Ashton said in a statement.
“The US authorities have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us as soon as possible,” she said.
France and Germany have also asked for explanations from Washington as reports suggested their embassies were also spied on.