The cold climate in Greece's diplomatic relations with Russia is worsening, due to the war in Ukraine.
The fact that our country aligned itself with the West in the first place, not only by condemning the invasion, which Moscow insists on calling a “special military operation”, but also by imposing sanctions against Russia, had already dealt a significant blow to the traditionally good relations between two countries.
However, two moves by Athens allegedly “hurt” Moscow the most, which counterattacked.
In principle, the Greek authorities declared 12 members of the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of Russia, which were accredited in Greece, as personae non gratae, since the beginning of April, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and in the wider climate of the days with the successive expulsions of Russian diplomats from most European countries.
Secondly – and perhaps more importantly for Russia – Greece participated in the international shipment of weapons and military equipment to the Kiev regime.
The 12 Russian diplomats – The accusations against them, the involvement of the EYP
About 18 months of investigation by the EYP and based on new data that emerged after the invasion of Ukraine, allegedly led to the expulsion of 12 Russian diplomats announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
This is noted by people who allegedly know what was going on behind the scenes by following the diplomats in question.
Reportedly, the investigation into their suspicious activity, reports of private financing, etc. it was with the assistance of secret service echelons from Great Britain and the USA.
According to the remarks of people familiar with the content of the EYP investigations, “some of the deportees not only promoted Russian positions on various issues, but also reinforced anti-government or destabilizing views”.
The EYP investigation is earlier and the declaration of the 12 Russian diplomats as personae non gratae was clearly made in the light of the developments in Ukraine, but also of the Kremlin's efforts to reverse the climate against it internationally.
The ” threats'
The representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, had responded to the decision of Athens, speaking of a “hostile move”, which will be answered “appropriately”. decision, arguing that those who took it “wanted to sow discord between the Greek and Russian people”.
At the same time, he characterized the deportations as “an unprecedented move in Russian-Greek relations”. Russia expels eight Greek diplomats
More than two and a half months later, Moscow struck back, declaring eight Greek diplomats “personae non gratae” and giving them eight days to leave the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday.
The Foreign Ministry said it summoned the Greek ambassador to protest “the confrontational” – as it called it – “course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, including the supply of arms and military equipment to the Kiev regime”.
< p>And he added that he had also protested the Greek decision to declare a group of Russian diplomats “personae non gratae”.
The announcement of the Russian Foreign Ministry
“In June 27, the ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the Russian Federation was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which a strong protest was expressed in relation to the confrontational course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, including the supply of weapons and military equipment to the Kiev regime and the declaration of a group of Russians of diplomats in Greece as 'personae non gratae'.
A note was delivered to the ambassador notifying that, in response, eight Greek diplomats in Russia were declared “personae non gratae” and must leave the country within eight days. He was also informed about other measures taken by the Russian side regarding the operation of the Greek delegations abroad in Russia.
It is emphasized that we are talking about the direct consequences of the unfriendly actions initiated by the Greek authorities. Athens is solely responsible for this event. It should be noted that in the event of a continuation of the anti-Russian policy, we reserve the right to respond”. expulsion of the Greek diplomats from Moscow.
Besides, in a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on June 27, stated that “there is no basis for the decision of the Russian authorities to expel members of the staff of the Greek diplomatic and consular authority in Russia” and underlined that these persons, “distinguished for the their professionalism and high sense of responsibility, they performed their duties in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations”.
Zakharova: Mutual expulsions are not our choice
The official representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, expressed the assessment that over time logic should prevail and the diplomatic activity of Greece and Russia in Moscow and Athens be normalized, answering a relevant question during the regular weekly briefing of the Russian and international press.
The Russian spokeswoman said that mutual expulsions are not an option for Moscow and assured that despite the reduction in their staffing, the Russian embassy in Athens and the consulate general in Thessaloniki will continue to operate as normal.
The implications for Greece
The professor of Geopolitics of the University of Athens, Yannis Mazis, spoke to in.gr about the deterioration of Greek-Russian relations and the consequences that this negative climate will have for our country. of Peace, a highly experienced diplomat and a great 'fox' of international balances, Henry Kissinger, that it was a great mistake of the West to homogenize the power components of Russia, China and India”, the professor emphasized, adding that the reasons for his position ” they are obvious and obvious”.
Especially for our country, Mr. Mazis noted that “Greece will pay a very heavy cost in terms of energy as well and, of course, with social, economic and politically, which will not move towards the rational side of the political spectrum”.
“The winter will be extremely difficult and the election fumbles are not going to bring about solutions, just 'equally distribute' the responsibilities”, said engraving ristically the experienced professor.