MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. The US is behind Greece’s decision to expel two Russian diplomats, a message published by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday informs.
On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that it had summoned the Greek Ambassador to Russia Fryganas Andreas, to whom it expressed a strong protest in relation to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and the ban of two more Russian citizens from entering the country.
"On July 13, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Head of the Greek Mission in Moscow Fryganas Andreas, to whom [the ministry] expressed a strong protest in relation to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and the ban of two Russian citizens from entering the country," the ministry informed. "We stressed that we find these actions absolutely unfounded, not supported by the facts from the Greek side, coming in conflict with the nature of our bilateral relations and capable of causing them serious damage," the ministry noted.
"It is obvious that Washington is behind the Greek government’s anti-Russian decision, timed to the opening of the NATO summit. The US openly supported these actions in the statement of the State Department," the Foreign Ministry stated.
On Thursday, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert posted on Twitter that Washington supports the decision of Athens, and called on Moscow to stop the destabilizing behavior.
The Greek Kathimerini daily reported on Wednesday, citing diplomatic sources, that Athens had decided to expel two Russian diplomats and ban another two from entering the country. According to the daily, the Greek authorities accuse the diplomats of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs and undermining the national security of Greece. The newspaper says that the diplomats are particularly accused of "attempts to get and disseminate information, as well as bribe state officials." Greek Cabinet Spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos later confirmed information about the expulsion of diplomats. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow would take tit-for-tat measures in response to this step.