Greece, Russia Relations Sour Over Diplomats Expulsions, FYROM Name Deal

July 12, 2018

ATHENS – While Greece tried to pretend everything was normal, ties with Russia have become breakingly tense after two Russian diplomats were expelled with reports saying it was because they were trying to undermine a deal renaming the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and opening the door for that country to get into NATO.

Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, spokesman for the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA coalition that includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) of Defense Minister Panos Kammenos told SKAI TV that Greece“cannot tolerate behavior that violates international law and does not show respect to the Greek state.”

He added that, “It is our assessment that there has been such behavior, and for that reason all necessary measures will be taken,” without explicitly confirming the expulsions that had been reported by Kathimerini.

The sense was that Greece was upset with the alleged actions of the diplomats and not the Russian Embassy without indicating how that could be as they work for their country’s mission.
“Greece has proven that, in the context of a multifaceted foreign policy, it wants good relations with all states,” Tzanakopoulos told SKAI, adding that “all states must respect international law as well as the Greek government and the Greek state.”

Other diplomats not named by the paper said that Greek authorities had long warned Moscow about the behavior of the Russian diplomats and wanted to send a message with the expulsions that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a former Communist Youth leader is serious, even though he had sought closer links with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The paper said that the diplomats are alleged to have sought to expand Russia’s influence in Greece, via local authorities and Bishops across the country, and through organizations with close links to Moscow, including the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society.

Also that the diplomats tried to bribe Greek officials and undercut Tsipras’ deal allowing FYROM to be called North Macedonia, keeping the name of an ancient Greek province – in a deal which has already seen FYROM being invited to join NATO.

The agreement was brokered by United Nations envoy Matthew Nimetz, an American lawyer who failed for two decades to find a solution only to find it settled with a name he had recommended years ago and with speculation it was done under pressure from the US to get FYROM into NATO as a bulwark against Russian interests in the Balkans.


For Hellenes and Philhellenes, there are a variety places, sentiments, and ideas that draw them to different parts of the Hellenic world.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


10 Years after Armed Standoff with Federal Agents, Bundy Cattle are Still Grazing Disputed Rangeland

BUNKERVILLE, Nev. (AP) — The words “Revolution is Tradition” stenciled in fresh blue and red paint mark a cement wall in a dry river wash beneath a remote southern Nevada freeway overpass, where armed protesters and federal agents stared each other down through rifle sights 10 years ago.

The Ford Bronco initially was conceived and designed for rugged outdoorsy types, a two-door means of escape to nature from the bustling cities of mid-century America.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — LeBron James had 37 points — including six in the final minute — and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Davis had 36 points and 14 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies 123-120 on Friday night.

SYDNEY (AP) — A man stabbed six people to death at a busy Sydney shopping center Saturday before he was fatally shot, police said.

ISTANBUL (AP) — More than 40 people remained stranded in cable cars high above a mountain in southern Turkey on Saturday, 19 hours after one pod hit a pole and burst open, killing one person and injuring seven.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.