Greece said on Monday that the statements made by Russian officials which accused Athens of anti-Russia propaganda in the Ukraine war are “unacceptable.”
The Greek foreign ministry responded to the statements by the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, who alleged that there is an orchestrated defamation of Russia ongoing in Greece.
“Senior officials in Athens find themselves making gross accusations against our country and its leadership,” Zakharova said.
She added: “We noticed the unprecedented campaign launched in Greece to defame Russia’s policy. Senior officials in Athens allow themselves to make crude accusations against our country and its leadership, they are literally competing with their like-minded people. They hypocritically speak of an “unprovoked attack” against Ukraine, for the first time since World War II, a “mass invasion” and so on.
“Europe, including Greece, is fully integrated into the ranks of the Kiev regime’s advocates, while the anti-Russia hysteria cultivated by the authorities has reached a boiling point,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
Greece: Russia’s statement “not compatible with diplomatic practice”
The spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Alexandros Papaioannou, noted the following:
“The recent statements by the spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the posts of the Russian embassy in Athens are, unfortunately, unacceptable.
“They are not compatible with diplomatic practice nor with the historical ties that unite the peoples of Greece and Russia. Greece would hope that these historical relations will be maintained and that Russia’s conduct would move in this direction.”
Papaioannou added that “Greek foreign policy is a policy of principles and is consistently based on full respect for international law.
“Greece co-decides and is bound by the decisions taken in the International Organizations in which it participates, such as, inter alia, the European Union and NATO.
“Our country’s fundamental concern is the promotion of truth, on the basis of confirmed and indisputable facts. Any effort, whatever its origin, to spread fake news and disinformation, aimed at disorienting public opinion, is condemnable.”
During the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s Embassy in Athens issued a statement calling on “the very top officials, politicians and statesmen” to tone down their “anti-Russian” rhetoric.
“We call on everyone, and especially the very top officials, politicians and statesmen, MPs, party officials, ministries, the media, who were so hasty yesterday to blame Russia for everything (as always), to come together and take over their responsibilities, to stop anti-Russian propaganda and to show composure, sobriety and seriousness,” the statement read.
The Russian Embassy, which also tweeted that members of its staff have received threats, was referring to Greece’s condemnation of Russian action in Ukraine, particularly after the bombardment of the region near Mariupol, in eastern Ukraine, which resulted in the death of at least 10 ethnic Greeks.