ATHENS – The expulsion of 12 Russian diplomats from Greece over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a “truly unprecedented move in Russian-Greek relations,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
“It only confirms how zealous the Greek authorities are in following the course of dismantling our bilateral versatile and mutually beneficial cooperation. It is sad that centuries-long historical, cultural and economic ties are sacrificed in no time in the name of ‘Trans-Atlantic’ solidarity,” she said, reported Kathimerini.
That was in reference with Greece further aligning itself with denunciations by the United States over the invasion and eyewitness and journalist reports that Russian soldiers raped, tortured and executed civilians.
She had claimed claimed separately that videos and photos of Russian atrocities were faked, in line with the Kremlin’s stance that none of it happened, President Vladimir Putin threatening Russian journalists with jail if the report anything other than pure propaganda.
Zakharova said that those who made the decision “wanted to sow discord between the Russian and Greek people,” while arguing that “though everything is being done now to discredit Russia” these efforts will fail.
She also added that Russia will “respond appropriately,” without indicating whether that would bring diplomatic retaliation or see Greek officials in Moscow being booted out as well.
Despite the tension, Greece – as is the European Union which is dependent on Russian energy – is still buying gas from Russia, allowing Russian ships into the country and sending Greek ships to Russia, despite pleas from Ukraine to stop it.