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Moscow summons Greek ambassador over 'anti-Russian' moves

Russia said today it had summoned the Greek ambassador in Moscow to protest at Athens' plan to expel two Russian diplomats accused of meddling.


PTI 13 Jul 2018, 03:18 PM Russian Federation

Russia said today it had summoned the Greek ambassador in Moscow to protest at Athens' plan to expel two Russian diplomats accused of meddling.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement it summoned Ambassador Andreas Fryganas and expressed "a strong protest in relation to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and the blocking of two others from entering" Greece.

It accused the United States of being "behind the anti-Russian decision of the Greek government which was timed to coincide with the opening of the NATO summit" on Wednesday.

The Greek government said Wednesday it had taken unspecified "necessary measures to protect its national interest" after "interference" by Russian officials in a name dispute with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia.

A Greek newspaper said Greece was planning to expel two Russian diplomats and ban two other Russian envoys from entering the country.

"We consider this action to be absolutely unfounded, not backed up by any facts by the Greek side," the Russian ministry said.

It said the expulsion of the diplomats was "at odds with the nature of our bilateral ties and could cause them serious damage." Officials had yet to confirm today whether the expulsions had been carried out.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told a news conference following the NATO summit yesterday: "We demand that all countries respect international law and our national sovereignty. And when we see certain incidents that do not go in that direction, we take the necessary measures."

He added that Greece seeks good relations with most countries, and that he was personally responsible for improving relations with Russia after taking office in 2015.

A source told AFP earlier that "there was a problem of interference in the Macedonian dossier".

The ERT1 public television channel said Athens accuses the Russians of trying to stir protests against a recent agreement with Skopje on a new official name for Macedonia.

The designation of the former Yugoslav country is a sensitive diplomatic issue since Greece has a northern region of the same name.

Reacting to the Greek announcement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry told AFP: "Tit-for-tat measures will be taken, as is always the case in such situations."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Country :
Russian Federation
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