Decision to expel Russian diplomats ‘disappointing,’ says ambassador


Russia’s ambassador to Greece, Andrey Maslov, has criticized a decision by Athens last week to expel two Russian diplomats and to bar two other people from entering the country as “disappointing.”

In comments made to Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik, Maslov added that the Greek Foreign Ministry had overreacted in its response to a statement by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, a statement which he described as “rightful and balanced.”

In a statement late Wednesday, the Greek Foreign Ministry urged Moscow to stop interfering in domestic affairs and treating Greece with disrespect.

Speaking on the decision to expel the two diplomats, Zakharova had earlier warned Athens that “such things do not remain without consequences” and claimed that third countries were behind Greece’s decision. Greek officials, she added, should “communicate with their Russian partners, and not suffer from dirty provocations.”

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov canceled a scheduled visit to Athens.