On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Greece that relations between the two nations that “share the same faith” have been “reduced to almost nothing.”
Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, warned in a statement released on social media that the “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia were in danger of becoming “a solid double line between us.”
The Russian official focused on Greece’s decision to declare 12 Russian officials “personae non-gratae,” on April 6 joining other European states that had taken similar steps in response to accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in line with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.
Russia’s embassy in Athens condemned Greece’s decision and warned of consequences. “We have strongly protested against this unjustified and hostile step which aims to further destroy our bilateral relations,” the Russian embassy announced in a statement. “We made clear that this action will not remain without consequences,” it further said.
Breakdown of Greece, Russia relations despite historic ties
In her social media post, Zakharova lamented the breakdown of relations between Russia and Greece and delved into the historic ties between the two countries.
“There was a time when Russia helped Greece achieve independence and restore its statehood, and its first head was previously Russia’s foreign minister, but now this country’s diplomatic relations with Russia have been reduced to almost nothing,” Zakharova warned.
She added that “this happened despite the fact that we share the same faith with the Greeks, the same traditions, and were always there to help our Greek friends.”
“This is not so much an issue of Euro-Atlantic solidarity erasing the past, since it is a sovereign choice for every nation to decide whom to honor. Even worse, this deprives people and nations of their future, independence and the right to make sovereign choices,” Zakharova concluded.
Diplomatic spat between Russia and Greece
The Russian official has previously alleged that there is an orchestrated defamation of Russia in Greece following the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“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 [and] 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 official said.
Greece responded to the statements saying they are “unacceptable.”
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.”
He added that “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.”