Greeks expel Russian diplomats in Athens 'spy' row

Greeks expel Russian diplomats in Athens 'spy' row

According to the paper, the Greek authorities accuse the diplomats of meddling in the country's domestic affairs and undermining the national security of Greece.

Greece made a decision to expel the diplomats over claims they tried to undermine an agreement between Athens and Skopje over a long-running name dispute, according to the Kathimerini newspaper.

"Our assessment is that such behavior took place, and all [necessary] measures will be taken", Tzanakopoulos said without providing any additional information.

However, the impression given by both Tzanakopoulos and diplomatic sources was that Greece had taken issue with the Russian envoys in question, not the entire Russian mission to Greece.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on July 11 that Athens would not tolerate any behavior that violates worldwide law.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it would respond in kind to the expulsions, Interfax news agency reported.

Greek sources indicated that such a move would be unjustifiable and would lead to a further deterioration of ties.

Athens has been careful to protect its close relationship with Moscow and reportedly took the rare measures on Wednesday amid increasing efforts by Moscow to expand its influence in the country.

The key goal of Greek authorities is to send an unambiguous message to those who aim to interfere in domestic affairs, the diplomatic sources added.

According to one of the sources, any response from Moscow would only aggravate the situation.

Russian Federation said on Wednesday it would mirror the move by expelling two Greek diplomats, according to reports.

Greece's Kathimerini newspaper said Athens authorities ordered the expulsions after suspected attempts by the Russian diplomats to undermine an agreement Greece brokered with the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia last month which ended a decades-old diplomatic standoff over its name.

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