The Greek government has expelled two Russian diplomats and banned another two from entering the country, Athens-based newspaper Kathimerini reported on Wednesday.
According to information from high-ranking Greek diplomatic sources, the measures being taken by Athens are a response to “illegal activity in Greece”, namely “interference in the internal affairs of Greece”. Among other things, the Russian diplomats are charged with “attempts to extract and distribute information, and bribe state officials”.
The article notes that Greece has always taken a careful stance in its relations with Russia. Unlike many other European countries, Greece did not expel Russian diplomats when news of the Skripal poisoning came to light.
Despite the Greek government’s efforts to maintain good relations with Russia, however, recently various entities with Russian interests have been meddling in Greek internal affairs, trying to buy officials through financial incentives.
The Greek diplomatic sources say that if Moscow takes any measures in response to the expulsion of its diplomats, it will only be counterproductive, and cause further deterioration in bilateral relations.