Tensions intensify with Moscow over expulsion of envoys

Tensions intensify with Moscow over expulsion of envoys

A war of words erupted on Wednesday between the foreign ministries of Greece and Russia over the expulsion last week of Russian diplomats who Athens has accused of trying to whip up opposition to the Macedonia name deal that paved the way for Skopje’s induction to NATO. 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that “such things do not remain without consequences” and claimed that third countries were behind Athens’s decision.

Greece, she said, should “communicate with their Russian partners, and not suffer from dirty provocations, into which, unfortunately, Athens was dragged.”

The Greek Foreign Ministry issued a response saying her statements “are a characteristic example of disrespect for a third country and a lack of understanding of today’s world, in which states, regardless of their size, are independent and can exercise an independent, multidimensional and democratic foreign policy."

"Unsubstantiated claims to the effect that this decision was taken following pressure from third parties are unworthy of comment and indicate a mindset of people who do not understand the principles and values of Greek foreign policy," it said. 

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