MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Moscow has expressed strong protest to the Greek ambassador to Moscow regarding the expulsion of Russian diplomats and anti-Russian statements made by Athens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
"On July 20, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Greek Ambassador to Russia Andreas Friganas to strongly protest against the anti-Russian statements Greece has been making regarding the expulsion of two Russian diplomats and the entry ban another two Russian were issued," the statement reads.
On July 11, the Greek Kathimerini daily reported, citing diplomatic sources, that Athens had decided to expel two Russian diplomats and ban another two from entering the country. According to the daily, Athens accused the diplomats of interfering in the country’s domestic affairs and undermining the national security of Greece. However, the same sources said that Greece was still willing to maintain good relations with Russia, facilitate friendship between the two countries’ people, as well as cooperation between the two governments.
Greek Government Spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos later confirmed the expulsion of diplomats. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in turn, said that the move would not positively affect bilateral relations, spurring a tit-for-tat response.